CES 2018 Robots? Mostly Garbage

Right! I’m in a bad mood today and the crap out of CES 2018 isn’t helping. My short review is “most of these are garbage, and the rest have some brain damage.” Here’s a quick run down of the big ticket items and why I do or do not like them.

Sony Aibo: Looks great, lots of emotional connection, doesn’t pee. Only $1,755 USD! Cheaper to get a real dog and pet insurance. Plus the real dog doesn’t have an internet camera.

LG Cloi, Kuri, Buddy: Desktop sized robot friends. All the power of a phone from 1990 minus the camera minus the screen, in a shape that won’t fit in your pocket.

Aeolus Bot, Qihan Sanbot: Big brother of Cloi & co. If it falls over can it get back up again? Can a stupid child dangle off one arm? No? Then get lost.

Sophia: Art project sex robot from the uncanny valley, not for sale. Isn’t CES for, y’know, CONSUMER electronics? This can’t be consumed.

Ford V2X: vehicle-to-vehicle mesh networking. Austensibly so the cars can better organize themselves. They hunt in packs now! I predict at DEF CON next summer someone will show a virus that spreads from car to car and then to the phones & laptops in those cars.

Vivo phone with fingerprint scanner: Why? Either it will fail to read your fingerprint or block your friend from using the phone when you want them to. It won’t stop phone thieves for a second, because they’ll wipe the phone and start from factory settings.

Razer’s Project Linda: Plug your phone into your laptop to make it a second touchpad or screen. …because you don’t have enough touch pads?

Honda 3E-D18:

I like the puncture-proof tires. Why is the guy in the video carrying his own backpack? Picture it with a drone launcher. A turret cannon with facial recognition! Perfect for riot control. Actually, I like the idea in principle, because I want to use it to 3D print my super villain lair on the moon.

Xeros laundry beads: Not a robot, but I want to complain about this anyhow. These plastic beads are supposed to reduce the amount of water used AND last the lifetime of the machine. You know what happens when the beads grind together? microbeads (and I mean <50um) get washed down the drain out to sea. So completely fuck this dumb idea.

Navya’s Cab: Self-driving 6 passenger cab. So far the most sensible thing I’ve seen. In a future where all cars are self-driving and all cars are owned by ride-sharing companies or co-ops, economies of scale mean very few 2 and 4-person cars.

Peloton Tread: Treadmill + 30″ TV. $4000 USD + $30/month. Uh, no. I can get a used treadmill on Craigslist for $100, a 30″ TV for $200, Chromecast for $40, and a netflix subscription for $15/month. The other $3600 I can spend on hookers and blow (which will probably get me skinny faster, anyways).

Abilix: Appears to be a ripoff of LEGO Mindstorms.

Segway NIMBO: All the targeting solutions of a HKT minus the balance minus the gun. Is it more reliable than a human guard? How much is your security theater worth to you?

Seven Dream laundroid: Laundry folding robot, because you’d rather spend time picking laundry caught in your robot than folding it yourself. If your solution creates more problems than it solves then it is a net loss and should be scrapped.

UBTECH & co: 18″ tall walking bots. Sometimes you have to spend the doll budget or they’ll give you less money next year. Good thing UBTECH is here.

Furion’s Prosthesis: I’m really passionate about this dumb project. It has a special hate in my heart. Not really a robot, not really a prosthetic, it doesn’t serve any purpose, and it still ate lots of money and time. I mean what the fuck people, where are your priorities?

This is a show of new products that people can consume. What happens when peak consumption is reached? Well then we need to consume frivolous things. Tomorrow is not in the plan. Other people’s well being is not in the plan. Being good ancestors is not in the plan. Narcissism and sociopathy are the order of the day.

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    1. Well, sure, but we would rather see this kind of innovation happening for robots that improve our lives FIRST.