Tag Archives: robotics

Autoslide makes any sliding glass door autonomous @ CES 2021



Autoslide autonomous sliding glass doorIf you have a pet dog and a sliding door, you likely have to stop what you’re doing and go open that door a dozen times a day to let the dog in and out. If you have a multi-level home, it can be even more of an inconvenience, especially now that many of us are working from home. This, and a number of other issues, is what Autoslide is designed to solve.

This system is a retrofit device that makes any sliding door into an autonomous sliding door. Using motion sensors, the door can be set to open when someone comes near it. This could be good for opening when you’re carrying supplies out to the grill or just when you’re entertaining. It could even be used at restaurants and bars to keep air conditioning inside while maintaining the feel of an outside experience. By using NFC tags, it could be great for letting the dog out.

Another great use case for the Autoslide is for people in wheelchairs or walkers. Obviously, the weight and length of a sliding glass door can make it difficult to open or close in this situation. Being able to automate the door, either by motion-sensing or by button, could be a life-changer in one of these homes.

Truly, the aspect that makes this system unique is that it does not require you to replace your door. Instead, it fits onto the existing door and track. This retrofit capability reduces the cost significantly, as you don’t have to have a contractor knock out the existing door and install a new one. It also means that you might be able to install it yourself.

The Autoslide system, in various configurations for motion, NFC, manual button, etc., are all available from the company. To learn more or make a purchase, head over to what the website.

Interview by Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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RoadPrintz makes roadwork safer and less expensive @ CES 2021



RoadPrintz robotic road painterThere are some aspects of daily life that very few people actually know how they work. One area that we know very little about is roadways. People are often shocked to see just how big traffic lights and road signs actually are. They would also be amazed to learn just how the painting of symbols on the road actually happens. These giant symbols, such as “right turn only” or “school zone,” are hand-painted, or painted using giant stencils. This realization was so surprising for Sam Bell that he founded RoadPrintz.

RoadPrintz is a company that is dedicated to automating the process of printing on the road. Bell was involved in a multi-million dollar project and was shocked to discover that certain road printing projects would not be undertaken because of the cost. The cost was not just in the initial implementation but in upkeep. It turns out that these have to be repainted annually, making it an eternal cost.

Once he began to investigate, he discovered that a large portion of the price was because at least five people are involved in the painting process, including those who control traffic, drop stencils, and paint. The process takes time, leaving these people in the middle of the street. This could be dangerous for them as well as motorists. Since lines are painted autonomously, why not symbols, as well?

That was the question that was answered by RoadPrintz – it absolutely can be. Using and training a robotic arm, the company was able to completely print road symbols quicker, cheaper, and safer than normal. This new process is a win for everyone involved. The intention is for cities to be able to purchase these robotic arms and use them to create and maintain their roads.

The product is currently in a testing phase, with hopes to bring it to market for cities and municipalities in the near future. For more information on the company, check out their website.

Interview by Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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iWONDERCOOK takes the hassle out of preparing a fresh meal @ CES 2021



After a long day at work, whether you’re working from the office or working from home, sometimes the energy or interest to cook dinner can be limited. For some, it means going and getting fast food. For others, it means jumping on an app and ordering delivery. But, if you are lucky enough to have an iWONDERCOOK, you don’t have to have fast food or order out, and you don’t have to expend the energy to cook.

iWONDERCOOK is a small robotic chef that is designed for your personal kitchen. It is about the size of a consumer 3D printer and even follows similar principles. The design of the meal is done beforehand, and the required materials are prepared and shipped to your house. To cook the pre-packed but not prepared meal, you scan the barcode on the package and place the ingredients in the machine. Then, in about 15 minutes, return to the machine and plate your food. That’s all there is to it. In fact, during the conversation, Michael Lemberg cooked and plated a meal on camera.

The way it works behind the scenes is similar to some of the meal kits, but with an easy and robotic twist. The company sources the ingredients to support the recipes in its system. They then clean, cut, and pack those ingredients into containers, split by meal. They ship those packets to you, which contains the general ingredients, sauces, and spices. So far, a tried and true model. The difference, of course, is that you don’t need a printed recipe with preparation and cooking processes. Instead, just scan, cook, and walk away. You don’t even have to deal with cleanup, as the machine takes care of that (except for your plate and silverware).

Because of delivery requirements, iWONDERCOOK is currently limited to the New York area. If you are interested in learning more about the product, check out the website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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RoboEatz ARK 3 automates the kitchen of a restaurant @ CES 2021



RoboEatz robotic kitchenFor small restaurants around the world, like most businesses, one of the largest costs is payroll. The real problem for restaurants is that margins are usually razor thin. Over the past few years, many restaurants, especially here in the United States, have been looking at what can be done to reduce payroll costs. Many fast food and chain restaurants have added ordering kiosks and at-table computers. However, the place that could really reduce cost is in the kitchen. In addition to the cost of labor, there is also food waste. RoboEatz has developed a robot that can help with both of these issues – the ARK 3.

The RoboEatz ARK 3 is a full kitchen automation system that can replace the kitchen staff and equipment of almost any restaurant. It takes up only 200 square feet and can serve 1000 meals without needing to be replenished. That replenishment process is also easy, as the system is able to use its sensors to determine when supplies are needed and place the order itself.

The first concern of any restaurant owner is the ability to maintain their menu and customer relationship. Implementing new technology that ruins your brand image is not going to be a win. ARK 3 allows you to create and fully customize your recipes, meaning you can keep your food exactly as it is. Even better, through the system’s mobile app, customers and servers can easily adjust their order, including ordering partial portions.

On top of the cooking process, ARK 3 also takes care of all of the cleanup. In fact, the process takes place between each and every order, eliminating cross contamination. This means that it can prepare and cook regular dishes and vegan dishes without any issues.

The company is currently working to build a prototype restaurant to show off the robot, while also working with other restaurants to implement the technology in the future. For more information on the ARK 3, check out the company’s website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Actasys gives your vehicle and its sensors 20/20 vision @ CES 2021



ActaJet by ActasysVehicles these days are extremely sophisticated with intricate computer systems. They have many sensors used for everything from outside temperature to automated braking. Because these sensors are generally exposed to the elements, they eventually need to be cleaned. Unfortunately, many are too sensitive to come in contact with, while others are not easily accessible. Even worse, what happens if they get dirty while you’re on the road? Actasys has developed a technology to autonomously keep the sensors clean and functioning.

The company’s technology, which is called ActaJet, is a unique sensor cleaning system. It uses small focused jets of air to keep the lenses and covers clear of dirt and debris. This is done by a series of small actuators, which means there is no need for fans, pumps, or compressors. This ensures optimal operation of the sensors and cameras in all environments and weather conditions.

Imagine driving down the interstate following a large truck. The truck hits a puddle, spraying mud and water all over your car. You can clean your windshield with the wipers so you can see again, but your car doesn’t have the same ability. Suddenly your automatic braking system, lane guidance, and tailgating alarm stop working. That’s why ActaJet was created.

Actasys focuses its attention on working with the sensor builders and OEMs, meaning that the vehicle manufacturers don’t have to do anything special to incorporate the technology. Because ActaJet is designed in a cartridge, all that is need is a single power wire instead of tubes or valves. The ease of implementation is a core aspect for wider adoption. Being an electronic device, one of the concerns is always power consumption. The system draws less than 10 watts of power and as low as one. This reduces the potential drain on the battery.

For more information go to the website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Ariel is a solar-powered robot for easy pool cleaning @ CES 2021



Ariel by Pivot Solar BreezeThere are so many pool owners these days and as everyone knows, there is a lot of upkeep to make sure it stays clean. Who wants to jump in to cool off if there is a layer of leaves and debris floating on top? Even worse, once you’re done cleaning, you are too tired to enjoy the pool. Paul Sim from Pivot Solar Breeze introduced us to a contemporary new robotic cleaning system for your pool. It’s called Ariel and it literally runs itself because it is solar-powered.

Most people clean their pool in what Paul says is an upside-down method. That is, cleaning with the device that resembles a stingray, which snakes along the bottom of the pool. By the time the debris is on the floor of the pool, it has decayed and created bacteria. It then requires more chemicals to bring the pH to a safe level, also forcing the filtration system to work harder than it has to.

Ariel floats along the top and literally scoops the debris and bugs before they decay and sink to the bottom, making the cleaning process easier. The robot has a paddle wheel that powers the movement to pick up the leaves, bugs, and debris into a mesh screen. There is a window to see how much has been collected so that it can be easily emptied. Being solar, Ariel only runs while the sun is out, making it self-powered. There is a 12W solar panel that also keeps the lithium metal battery charged.

It weighs a little less than about ten pounds. Even when the debris is collected, it shouldn’t be much more. That makes it light-weight to lift out and empty. It will be available in the second quarter, just in time for pool season. Your pool will always be “party-ready!” It retails for $528 but there is a CES special for $468. For more info go to their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Maicat from Macroact is a realistic robotic cat companion @ CES 2021



Macroact MaicatCompanionship is an important part of life, and for many, a pet can be the perfect companion. However, for a variety of reasons, not everyone can or will have a pet. Some people have allergies, some are scared, and others live in a controlled environment. In these cases, and others, an artificial companion can help overcome the challenges. Macroact has a robotic cat, Maicat, to help fill this void.

Macroact is a robotic startup which is combining artificial intelligence with robotics but focuses on very specialized markets. The first of their adaptive robots, Maicat, is a companion robot that is designed to behave and interact like a cat. This is done without sending the robot into the uncanny valley, so it is compelling and cute.

While other companion robotic animals have been created before, Maicat separates itself in size. It is about two-thirds the size of its competitors, making it a more manageable device. In addition, Maicat features autonomous motion control and 21 actuators, allowing it to interact with the people and objects around it more similar to a real cat. Thanks to its integrated environment detection system, it is also able to know its environment and avoid obstacles in its path.

Like a real cat, Maicat learns from your unique interaction with it, including using voice and facial recognition and sentiment analysis, and determines the perceived intent, both positive and negative, of each action. The robot also develops its own unique emotional rhythmic cycle and uses that to respond to external stimuli with each interaction. This means that, like a real cat, each time you interact with it, the experience will be different. This will obviously make the experiences more diverse and fun.

One clear use for this technology, as pointed out by Christopher Jordan, is for helping to teach a younger child about pets. Rather than the child learning the hard way through scratches or bites that certain activities are inappropriate, Maicat can help instead. To learn more and find out when it becomes available, check out the company’s website.

Interview by Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Tech Meets Tennis with Tennibot



tennibotCool new tech is always fun, but when it marries two of your favorite things, it’s love at first sight. That’s exactly what this new robot did for our very own Daniele Mendez. In the last 4-5 years, she has spent countless hours on both the tennis courts as well as working alongside her robotics team, so she absolutely could not resist this product.

Tennibot is a smart robotic tennis ball collector that scoots around the tennis court, picking up all of your practice tennis balls. Not only does it take the grunt work out of picking up the balls by hand so you have more time to practice, but it also looks cool in the process. With the price point starting at $399 for the personal version and up to $1,699 for the larger club version, they are looking forward to being able to ship by the end of 2016.

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Interview by Daniele Mendez of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology


Somabar Combines Alcohol and Robots to Mix You the Perfect Drink



somabarNot all of the technology being shown off at CES is designed to give consumers convenient and faster access to the latest forms of information and entertainment. Some of it is created with the idea of making certain tasks just a little bit easier.

That’s the thought behind Somabar, a fully robotic bartender that can create and mix a beverage without so much as the unscrewing of a cap. The app-controlled drink mixer uses six different pods to blend together over 300 different cocktails, or the user can program their own creation into the app. Following feedback from its Kickstarter campaign, Somabar also comes with a full water-flushing system for automatic cleaning.

Inspired by CEO Dylan Purcell-Lowe’s travels to Japan, where he witnessed prepackaged rum and Cokes being served from a machine, Somabar is set to be released in July and will retail at $449. The robotic bartender can be purchased at http://www.somabarkickstarter.com.

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Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology


Meccano Brings Future Robot Overlords to CES



Meccano logo

We’ve all dreamed of owning our very own robot. Imagine, having a mechanical friend who’s always there and won’t mind when you tell it to fetch another cold drink from the kitchen. Well, those robot dreams are quickly becoming real thanks to the efforts of companies like Meccano.

Nick spoke with Fraser from Meccano. Fraser explained that many people had probably already heard of the Meccano brand, as it was known as Erector for many years in the U.S. He also gave details on an amazing new product, the Meccanoid, which Meccano will bring to stores in August of 2015.

Meccanoid is a four-foot tall humanoid robot that’s built from an easy-to-assemble kit. Upon construction, users can program Meccanoid by using a simple “record-and-playback” system built right into the bot, or via bluetooth-connected smartphone, or USB-connected computer. The potential of Meccanoid is endless as the kit can be broken down into a number of configurations, limited only by the imagination of the builder.

Interview by Nick of F5 Live for the TechPodcast Network.

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