Ubtech’s new and improved robot assistants take a bow at CES 2019

Chinese company Ubtech debuted its new, improved Walker humanoid robot and Cruzr service robot at CES 2019, reminding us that we’re closer than ever to living in the kind of future promised to us decades ago by The Jetsons.

Walker, which made an appearance at last year’s Las Vegas event, has seemingly spent the last 12 months growing a pair of hands and arms, which it lacked at CES 2018. The new appendages give the near-5 foot, 170-pound robot the ability to grasp and manipulate objects.


It now also boasts a redesigned torso for smooth and stable walking on even complex terrains. It achieves this using 36 actuators and a plethora of smart sensors, along with proprietary Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (U-SLAM) abilities for planning out paths and avoiding obstacles. Finally, the possible future robot butler boasts A.I.-equipped face and object recognition, plus the ability to reportedly “help users control” an assortment of smart home devices. Heck, as the video up top indicates, it could even bash you out a tune on the piano!

Acting as the R2-D2 to Walker’s C-3PO is Cruzr, a shorter, squatter service droid that’s been upgraded since its last public appearance. Cruzr now comes with a refined body structure and servo motors, new wheel design, more powerful processor, better navigation abilities, 4G LTE connectivity, and a redesigned audio chamber to help its voice cut through the din of “environmental noise.”

walker cruzr robot ces 2019 screen shot 01 09 at 17 56 14

At present, there’s no news on when Walker might be made available to cater toour every whim. However, Cruzr is available for sale worldwide — including in North America for the first time in 2019.

“Ubtech is on a multiyear mission to bring robots into every home and business by making them more intelligent, personal, and human-like in every way,” said John Rhee, senior vice president and general manager, Ubtech Robotics North America, in a statement. “Walker and Cruzr show the cutting edge of our vision, where robots can naturally interact with us to truly make a positive impact on the way we live and work, while allowing us to focus our unique human ingenuity where it matters most. We know robots will be the future, and Ubtech is at the forefront of bringing robots to everyone.”

Emerging Tech

ANYmal dog robot can get back on its feet when someone pushes it over

Roboticists at ETH Zurich have demonstrated how their ANYmal four-legged robot is capable of taking a kicking and keeping on walking -- or getting back to its feet if it's pushed over.
Emerging Tech

‘Tech vest’ prevents Amazon workers from colliding with robot co-workers

Amazon workers at its fulfillment centers are using "tech vests" to help protect them from collisions with their robot co-workers. The robots already have obstacle avoidance sensors, but the belt offers another layer of safety.
Emerging Tech

Hexbot is a modular robot arm that does everything from drawing to playing chess

Who wouldn’t want their own personal robot arm to do everything from laser engraving to competing against you in a game of chess? That's what Hexbot, a new modular robot, promises to deliver.
Podcasts

Hotel bots, Autonomous hotels, Brainscans, Comedians, A robot named Marty

On today's podcast we're joined by comedians Jeremiah Coughlan and Tyler Boeh! We'll take a look at the use of 'future technology' that is is about to be deployed soon. From automobiles, to grocery store assistants, to a japanese hotel that…
Emerging Tech

Pilotless planes are on their way, but would you fly in one?

Airbus says advancements in artificial intelligence can help it toward its goal of building a plane capable of fully autonomous flight, though whether passengers can be persuaded to travel in one is another matter entirely.
Emerging Tech

3D printers are finally affordable. Here are the best models under $500

3D printer prices have dropped dramatically over the past few years, but just because something is cheap doesn’t mean it’s worth buying. Here, we’ve rounded up all the cheap 3D printers that are actually worth spending your money on.
Mobile

T-Mobile 5G rollout: Here is everything you need to know

2019 will be a huge year for T-Mobile. Not only is a merger with Sprint likely, but T-Mobile is also in the midst of building out its next-generation mobile service. Here's everything you need to know about the T-Mobile 5G rollout.
Emerging Tech

A.I. finds non-infringing ways to copy drugs pharma spends billions developing

Researchers have demonstrated an artificial intelligence which can find new methods for producing existing pharmaceuticals in a way that doesn’t infringe on existing patents. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

Coinstar machines will let you swap cash for Bitcoin at your local grocery store

Coinstar, the company which owns the coin exchange machines found at grocery stores and elsewhere, will soon let you easily buy Bitcoin with your cash money. Here's how it will work.
Emerging Tech

Facebook hasn’t given up on the idea of building an internet drone

Facebook's efforts to provide internet connectivity from the skies using solar-powered drones suffered a blow last year when the company abandoned its "Aquila" drone project. But the company clearly hasn't given up on the idea.
Emerging Tech

World’s biggest fleet of campus delivery robots now transporting student meals

The world’s largest fleet of delivery robots on a university campus is coming to Fairfax County, Virginia’s George Mason University. Here's how the ordering and delivery process plays out.
Deals

Smart luggage does it all with wireless charger, built-in scale, GPS tracking

The SkyValet smart luggage, currently being funded on Kickstarter, offers solutions to many common travel struggles. With SkyValet, you no longer need separate portable chargers, a scale to weigh your bag, a lock, or a tracking device. It's…
Emerging Tech

The CRISPR baby saga continues as China confirms second gene-edited pregnancy

China’s official Xinhua news agency has confirmed that a second woman has become pregnant as part of a controversial experiment to create the world’s first genetically edited babies.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk offers to help dig CERN’s new particle collider tunnel

CERN plans to put the Large Hadron Collider to shame with its proposed much larger Future Circular Collider -- and Elon Musk wants to help. Because, you know, he's not busy enough.