“I think there they are less fake robots this year. ” I talked to many robots and people adjacent to the robots at CES this year, but that comment from Labrador Systems co-founder / CEO Mike Dooley summed up the situation very well. The show is slow, but constant, beginning to take robotics more seriously.
It is true that words like “false” and “seriously” are quite subjective; surely all those classified by one of us as the first would have a big problem with the label. It is also true that there are still many devices that fit firmly in the field of novelty and hypothetics, both in the exhibition hall and in press conferences, but after a week at CES, including several behind-the-scenes conversations with Investors and new companies. The consensus seems to be that the program is slowly embracing the more serial side of robotics.
I think the reason for this change is twofold. First, the world of consumer robotics has not realized as fast as many had planned / expected. Second, industrial and business robotics really have. Let’s address those points in order.
As my colleague Darrell pointed out in a recent article, consumer robotics showed signs of life at this year’s event. However, those who predicted a milestone for the industry after Roomba’s arrival on the scene about 18 years ago have undoubtedly been very disappointed with the following decades.