'Plenty of potential for robots assisting, augmenting and helping people" at CES in Vegas

CNET Senior Reporter Ben Fox Rubin describes the annual electronics show to Paul and Jordana

Paul and Jordana
January 08, 2019 - 6:25 pm

USA Today


 The 2019 Consumer Electronics show kicked off Tuesday in Las Vegas. CNET Senior Reporter Ben Fox Rubin joined Paul and Jordana from the Entertainment Capital of the World to reassure them that the robots aren’t quite ready to take over.

“There are a lot of robots here, and what’s kind of funny about it is that so many of them are intentionally cute,” Rubin said, “Everybody’s watched ‘Terminator’ and they’re all kind of terrified of the robot uprising. So what they do is make tiny robots that you could kick out of the way if you wanted to, and they all have big puppy dog eyes and look adorable.”

But some of the things those robots can do are interesting and pretty practical.

“Samsung came out with four different robots they introduced at CES,” said Rubin, “One of them is the Samsung Bot Care. It helps check your blood pressure. It has the potential for helping an elderly parent around the house. Samsung and some of these other companies really see a lot of potential for robots assisting and augmenting and helping people.”

There’s also the standard “why would you need those” items at the show.

“There’s a smart toilet here, that was a little ridiculous,” Rubin told Paul and Jordana, “I think it plays music or something. There’s also this thing called ‘why brush’ which is kind of an electric toothbrush that almost looks like a mouth-guard. It brushes all your top teeth and all your bottom teeth at the same time so it only takes 10 seconds to brush your teeth.”

And there are always the items that kids (young and old) will be howling for come next Christmas.

“I feel like smart speakers are going to continue to really draw into the market,” said Rubin, “There’s still a lot of upward potential for smart speakers to draw in. And I know that Amazon in particular is really working on more skills, more things for kids to do related to smart speakers.”

If you’re not a smart-speaker person, there’s always the “rollable” TV.

Take a listen to the entire interview with Paul and Jordana