Robots, Batmobiles And Superdrones: The Coolest Stuff Announced At CES This Year


Robin Andrews

Science & Policy Writer

550 Robots, Batmobiles And Superdrones: The Coolest Stuff Announced At CES This Year
Batmobile, anyone? Faraday Future

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, which is running from 6 to 9 January, is an internationally renowned electronics and technology showcase. Companies, start-ups, and entrepreneurs from the world over flock to this pantheon of futuristic devices, gadgets and vehicles, hoping to catch a glimpse – and perhaps invest in – these seriously cool items and breakthroughs. Three days in, the show has yet to disappoint the budding technology enthusiast.

The Chinese manufacturing company, Ehang Inc., has unveiled a drone that is able to carry humans through the air, which if demonstrated would be a world-first for drone technology. Despite strongly resembling a helicopter, this new, 5.5 meter-long (18 feet) drone has four doubled propellers that spin parallel to the ground, making it technically a drone. The Guangzhou province-based company revealed its latest creation along with an accompanying demonstration video.


The new passenger drone. It even comes with a reading light! Ehang Inc.

If you prefer your vehicles more earthbound, how about the new Batmobile-like car from Faraday Future, another Chinese company? Although the electric FFZero1 is only a concept model, it still shows off most of its novel features, including a series of aerodynamic tunnels at the front designed to reduce air resistance, and its 1,000 horsepower engine. In fact, this self-driving car is able to accelerate you from zero to 60 mph (100 km/h) in just under three seconds.

The Dark Knight would surely approve. Faraday Future

If you would like to order your car around a little more directly, you might be able to pick up the Knight Rider-esque app developed between Swedish car maker Volvo and Microsoft. Using a hi-tech wristband, drivers will be able to tell the car to turn on its heating, honk its horn, set their navigation, or flash its headlights – all without stepping foot inside the car.


Car? Play something with some bass, please. Volvo Group

Have you ever thought that your television screen would be better if it could be rolled up like a sheet of paper? Well, you’re in luck: LG have demonstrated their proof-of-concept roll-up digital screen at CES. Using OLED (organic, light-emitting diode) technology, which self-illuminate and do not require another screen to project their light onto, this 18-inch display can be rolled up into a 3 centimeter (1.2 inch) radius cylinder without breaking.

By rolling up your TV screen, you can finally see that patch of wallpaper behind it that’s been hidden for so long. LG

The Beam robot was one of many making an appearance at the gathering. Made by Suitable, this roaming screen on wheels is designed to make remote commuting and virtual meetings more “human” in nature. Its showcase was made more startling when Edward Snowden appeared on one of the Beam bots. “This is the power of Beam, or more broadly the power of technology,” he said in an onstage interview with Peter Diamandis, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, as reported by the Guardian. “The FBI can’t arrest a robot.”




Another more bizarre robotic creation, going by the name of Alpha 2, was seen at CES doing yoga and translating various languages. Other slightly curious innovations include the GoSun Stove, which is able to store solar energy so that it can operate in the dark.



The Sensorwake is the world’s first “olfactory” alarm clock, meaning that it wakes you up with your chosen odor. Each capsule lasts for 30 awakenings, and by spending roughly $5 per month, you can wake up to the smell of croissants, chocolate, espresso, and peppermint.




Perhaps the most unusual demonstration was the E. Sensory smart vibrator. Called Little Bird, it is connected to the user as they read through their chosen erotic stories and vibrates in sync. What a time to be alive.


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