Top 10 Robotics Startups at CES 2016

Here are 10 memorable robots that were featured at the Eureka Park startup zone in Las Vegas.

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, 500 startups showed off their wares in Eureka Park, which was sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Techstars startup incubator.

Many of the startups located in Eureka Park were robotics companies. Here, in no particular order, are 10 of the coolest robots we saw in Eureka Park.

Somabar’s robotic bartender

Photo Credit: Somabar

Somabar’s robotic bartender is intended to mix cocktails in home kitchens. Winner of a CES 2016 Innovation Award, Somabar includes six reservoirs for beverage ingredients, and it comes preloaded more than 300 drinks to choose from.

In addition, the machine cleans itself, and a community of users can craft and share recipes for the smartphone-controlled mixer, which is currently available for preorders at $429.

Although 90 percent of its market is home users, the company is talking with Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc.

Other beverage automation on display at CES included the Brewie robotic homebrewer, 42Tea’s tea maker, and the Picobrew craft-brewing kit.

SynTouch LLC’s standardized touch

Photo Credit: SynTouch

SynTouch LLC started out by working on prosthetics but has been developing biometric tactile sensing for industrial uses. It has been offering a measurement of touch in 15 dimensions, such as coarseness or temperature.

SynTouch is offering its standardized measurements as a service to laboratories, said Peter Botticelli, production and sales engineer at the Los Angeles-based company.

DreamQii PlexiDrone

Photo Credit: DreamQii

DreamQii’s PlexiDrone is a modular unmanned aerial vehicle designed for portability. Its four rotor arms can be detached from the main body, and the entire unit can be transported in a hard-shelled backpack.

DreamQii has raised $2 million on Indiegogo and expects the PlexiDrone to be ready for release by the second quarter of 2016. It is currently accepting preorders of $1,000 for each drone, which is designed to carry a variety of cameras.

The body of DreamQii was designed with 3D printing, but it uses injection molding to keep the cost down. The detachable arms are made of carbon fiber and are being tested for endurance.

The company doesn’t expect the new registration rules from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to affect its business plan, said a representative.

Blue Frog Robotics Buddy

Photo Credit: Futur en Seine on Twitter

Blue Frog Robotics’ Buddy was among the most popular social robots at CES 2016, and CEO Rodolphe Hasselvander usually had a crowd and a camera crew around him.

Buddy can provide telepresence, security, and companionship, and it is already helping autistic children.

Paris-based Blue Frog earned more than double its Indiegogo goal of $100,000 last summer, and the Developer Edition is available at $749.

Buddy was also among the social robots demonstrated during Robotics Trends’ “Robotics Revue” during our half-day conference sessions.

ZeroUI’s Ziro robotics control kit

ZeroUI Inc. has developed a set of four motor modules with a gesture-based controller glove for an intuitive user interface. With Ziro, makers can control wheels and direction or arms on homemade robots.

Ziro’s modules can be used to wirelessly move and control robots made from materials including cardboard, wood or metal, allowing for creative development. The kit will be funded by an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign and costs $199.

NUA Robotics smart suitcase

NUA Robotics demonstrated a prototype of the latest model of its robotic luggage, which can follow a traveler through an airport.

Israel-based NUA’s hard-shelled suitcase can avoid obstacles and communicate with the user’s smartphone. The system could eventually be added to luggage of other sizes. The company is looking for partners, said a representative at NUA’s booth at CES.

Nano Dimension Ltd. Dragonfly 2020 3D printer

Photo Credit: Nano Dimension

Nano Dimension Ltd. demonstrated its ability to 3D-print multilayer electronic circuit boards. A company representative noted that this enables much faster prototyping because parts don’t need to be sent away or delivered for testing.

Nano’s Dragonfly 2020 printer is also cheaper and allows designers to be more creative, he said. The Israel-based company also provides custom inks for 3D printing.

Keecker mobile projector

Keecker is a smartphone-controlled device that can turn any wall into a screen for displaying video, including movies, Web sites, videoconferences, and videogames.

The rounded robot includes collision-avoidance sensors and 360-degree audio. It runs on Android apps and weighs only 15 lb.

Paris-based Keeker’s robot is available for preorders at $990.

Reach Robotics battle bots

Photo Credit: Melonee Wise on Twitter

Reach Robotics showed off its Mekamons battle robots that face off against each other. The four-legged modular robots have IR, Bluetooth and a built-in compass to detect the location of an opponent during battle.

The Mekamons will battle each other in augmented reality, and an app controls, arms and levels up the bot in a single-player game. Reach Robotics hopes to launch a crowdfunding campaign later in 2016.

MakerBloks building blocks

Photo Credit: MakerBloks on Twitter

MakerBloks are reactive, color-coded building blocks that introduce children to robotics, allowing them to build electronic circuits, memory games and more.

The blocks use bluetooth technology to interact with a digital activity book that’s available on any tablet. In each new chapter of the book, kids use their blocks to tackle problems and solve puzzles.

About the Author

Eugene Demaitre · Eugene Demaitre is Senior Web Editor for Robotics Business Review. Prior to joining EH Publishing in the Boston area, he worked as an editor at BNA, Computerworld, and TechTarget. Demaitre has a master's degree in international affairs from the George Washington University.
Contact Eugene Demaitre:  ·  View More by Eugene Demaitre.


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