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The Sciences

Live From CES: Will Physically Going to CES Become Obsolete?

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CES finishes today, and hordes of attendees are making their way to the airport for their return journeys home. But next year, maybe we can all catch the show without the hassle of plane trips, getting lost in the casino while looking for the actual hotel part of the hotel/casino combo, and fighting it out over the last seat on the shuttle bus. Anybots gives us an alternative with its robotic telepresence system. Their QA robot can be controlled from the comfort of any networked computer, allowing you to wander around and check out booths in spirit, if not in body. The QA has a 4 to 6 hour battery life (which, to be fair, is about my daily limit for walking up down the show halls too). It's tall height means that it's built in camera has a normal human eyeline, and it's body is jointed to allow the QA to express some basic gestures and look down. While watching the camera feed and controlling the QA remotely, a loud speaker and microphone lets you converse with any humans that might be present (the LCD screen on the QA's chest can display a photo of its operator so that people can know who they are talking to.) The base is similar to a Segway's, allowing the robot to roll around while remaining upright, and has a built in LIDAR system to automatically detect potential obstacles. Of course, there is still one thing missing from the QA that gives going to the show in person the edge, at least for now--the current version has no arm with which to grab those free vendor giveaways...

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