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

UBTECH's Walker Robot

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.

More CES 2019 coverage

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.”

Image used with permission by copyright holder

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.”

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Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
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