Robots have come a long way since appearing in retro science fiction movies. In many ways, robots are now exactly what we imagined them to be all those years ago. Robot butlers will soon be introduced to our households, robots are already becoming a huge part of our military, and some robots are even helping us explore space. Not that far off from those cheesy movies back in the day. A lot of us also feared that robots would one day take over the world, and while we're not being controlled by Skynet just yet, robots do seem set to replace many of us currently employed in the workforce. One thing is for sure – robots are undoubtedly going to change our lives completely.
So what kind of robots are being developed and sold in 2018? There are actually quite a few that have attracted a lot of attention, and this article aims to explore some of the most potentially life-altering ones. The advances in artificial intelligence have been instrumental in making these advanced robots possible, but there's also a lot of interesting developments in the actual physical construction of these robots. While we like to think of robots as having two legs and a head, that's not always the case. We might be surprised at what kinds of shapes and forms some of these robots are taking.
20 Aeolus Bot
For those waiting for a genuine robot butler, that dream has now arrived. The Aeolus Robot can do a huge range of different tasks, including cleaning, handing you objects, and even functioning as a security guard. This amazing robot was one of the clear attractions of CES 2018 this year, and it definitely received a lot of attention. The thing that makes this robot amazing is that it uses all the features present in Alexa, meaning it can carry a conversation and learn. And if that wasn't enough to convince you, this robot can actually fetch drinks from your fridge!
19 LG Cloi
A huge trend right now are robots designed to help you in your home. We've already seen versions of these such as the Amazon Echo and other things, but the LG Cloi might just have the most potential out of all of these robots. It can listen and talk to you, but it also has incredible features that allow it to connect to things in your house, like washing machines and your lights. It is programmed to be your assistant in every way imaginable, from teaching you recipes to reminding you of upcoming appointments.
18 Sophia The Robot
People with an interest in robotics and technology probably already know about Sophia. For some, this robot is slightly unsettling, but for others it's an exciting sign of things to come. Sophia isn't something you can buy just yet, but it's definitely an interesting showcase of what's actually possible with robots today. She has an extremely advanced AI, and she is able to have conversations and even ask her own questions. Her latest upgrade is a pair of legs to help her walk.
17 Buddy The Robot
Buddy is another robot that you might have heard about within the last little while, and in 2018 he's looking more impressive than ever. This is another robot that is still in the prototype stage, but it looks very close to being completed. Like many of the other robots we've mentioned so far, Buddy has advanced AI, although it's not a "copy" of Alexa or Google AI, it's an entirely different breed. It is designed to help around the house, offer entertainment, and even keep an eye on elderly people.
16 Kuri The Robot
Kuri the robot is probably being marketed mostly towards those who want a robot babysitter. While leaving your kids with a robot might not be particularly reassuring, Kuri has some interesting features we have to consider. Like many of the robots mentioned, it comes with advanced AI, but the thing that really sets it apart is that it's completely ready for the market, with pre-order units already being shipped. It can recognize faces, play games, and keep an eye on things with its cameras.
15 ForwardX CX-1
The ForwardC CX-1 is another interesting product that received a lot of attention during CES 2018, and this is not your average piece of luggage. Although it might not be as advanced or as interesting as some of the more "traditional" robots we've mentioned so far, the ForwardC CX-1 is definitely something that could change our lives, more specifically the way we travel. The luggage is programmed to follow the user around a crowded airport or train station, meaning you will never have to actually carry it. It is capable of speeds up to 7 miles per hour.
Another piece of robotic technology that really caught our eye was the Foldimate. While it doesn't have a face or arms, this product is one of the most likely robots to impact our lives. As the name suggests, this robot folds clothes, and it does so very efficiently. And it's one of the few robots that is essentially ready for the market, with a release date of around 2019. It folds 20 items in about four minutes, sparing you this boring task. It will probably cost less than $1000.
Self-driving car technology is an entire sub-genre of robotics today, and it's an industry that shows incredible promise. But instead of talking about that entire industry as a whole, we're going to focus on one unique and interesting application – the Robomart. This is a self-driving car that can deliver groceries and food right to your door, without the need for a driver. Shopping online for groceries and having them delivered is something that is extremely popular these days, and adding self-driving cars to the mix seems like the logical next step.
12 The Vincross Hexa
Honestly, The Vincross Hexa is not something that is going to completely change our lives for the most part. But it is one of the coolest robots available today, and it's definitely one of the most affordable, especially when you consider the advanced technology behind this thing. This is another robot that can be great for those who want to learn more about robotics, and it can do all kinds of things. One very cool application of Hexa was to place a small plant on top, and Hexa was programmed to follow the sunlight, keeping the plant happy. It's priced at $949.
11 ELLI Q
One robot that we will start seeing in homes very soon is the ELLI Q. This robot is essentially ready to go, and it does in fact provide life-changing benefits to the elderly population. One of the real worries that we all have is that we won't be able to look after ourselves when we get older. That's where the ELLI Q comes in. It can keep tabs on the elderly user, remind them to stay healthy, and even keep them company by having conversations. It can also help keep their brains sharp, and allow family members to use ELLI Q to talk to the elderly person and "check in" on them.
While this might be one of the most intimidating new robots making the rounds in 2018, it's also one of the most exciting. Unlike some of the robots we've mentioned, this one is designed to take on heavy duty tasks like farming and emergency response. The trademark of this robot is a giant, modular arm that can be customized, allowing it to carry out some pretty demanding tasks. It also has a top speed of 30 miles per hour, and it's being considered for use in space exploration, such as a trip to Mars.
One of the most challenging things about the dawn of the age of advanced robotics is that most people don't really understand how robots work. With a shift towards robotics comes a need for people who know how to program them and repair them. If learning about robots is your aim, then Misy1 might be the perfect option. This robot is designed for developers, both novice and advanced. Priced at just $1500, the robot can be programmed with simple software, and it can display facial expressions.
8 Soft Robotics' Smart Pick
Another huge challenge in the area of robotics is trying to adapt robots to fill human roles. While it may be alarming to hear that robots are lining up to take our jobs, it's an inevitability that we all must accept, sooner or later. One challenge that robots face is being able to touch and grasp objects without completely destroying them. This is especially important when it comes to delicate items like food or packages. Well, Soft Robotics has come up with a solution with their Smart Pick robot. As well as being able to grasp things with a "soft" hand, the Smart Pick has advanced AI to help with sorting, packing, and other tasks.
7 Motobot 2
Yep, it's exactly what it looks like – a robot riding a motorcycle. While this stunning robot might not change our lives, it could change the face of motorsports. Yamaha designed the Motobot 2 to learn more about the relationship between motorcycle and rider, and the robot will apparently help build better vehicles in the future. Not only that, but the Motobot 2 is now being pitted against some of the best Motocross riders of all time, and it's trying to actually beat humans. How cool would it be to see a motorcycle race with a few robots in it?
ARMAR-6 is a very interesting robot that has also been the subject of much discussion in 2018, and this one is fairly unique. At first glance, it looks like just another industrial robot designed to take manufacturing jobs away from human workers. But what ARMAR-6 is actually designed for is helping pre-existing human workers. Advanced AI systems allow the robot to survey a workplace and identify which workers need help. It would then rush over and hold a set of tools for a technician, or hold something in place.
Could this robot really change your life? Well, if it helps us get a better night's sleep, then the answer would be a resounding yes. But it's hard not be slightly disturbed by what this robot actually does... It doesn't look like much, but this pillow shaped robot actually has some unique features, having been programmed to mimic the movement caused by breathing. The idea is that the user snuggles up to the robot, and the "breathing" of the Somnox actually helps you fall asleep. Apparently this helps regulate the user's own breathing, improving sleep quality.
4 Robots From Boston Dynamics
Many of our readers have probably heard about Boston Dynamics or seen some of their YouTube videos. And there's no denying that these robots are incredibly impressive. The focus of this company is definitely summed up by one word – mobility. While there is incredibly sophisticated artificial intelligence in each of their robots, it's not focused on carrying out conversations or reading emotions. Instead, it helps the robot balance and perform acrobatic stunts – things that require incredible precision and calculation. The Atlas robot recently landed a backflip, and other models show incredible potential for a range of applications. The military is very interested in these robots.
3 Ubtech Walker
The Ubtech Walker is another very exciting new robot being developed right now. It's another product designed to help in your home with a variety of different tasks. What really sets this robot apart is the fact that it has two legs, making it the first bipedal home robot for consumers. The fact that it has no arms does limit its usefulness, although arms are apparently being developed. Right now, the robot's main use is less of a butler and more of a security guard. The robot has proven to be adept at patrolling areas, surveillance, and triggering alarms. And if that doesn't impress you, the Ubtech walker can also dance.
2 Honda's 3E-D18
Honda actually revealed an entire family of robots recently, and this family includes things like mobility robots and companion bots. But the thing that really interested us was this autonomous off-road vehicle – The 3E-D18. Although it looks like an ATV, it's much more than that. This robotic vehicle is designed to help the user with a ton of outdoor activities, from farming to hiking. It can carry heavy loads and is programmed to follow the user around, faithfully acting as a robotic pack mule – without harming an animal. There are a ton of applications for this device.
One of the most life-changing robots currently in use is definitely the NAO, which has been helping the lives of children in an extremely significant way. Like its older brother, the MILO, this robot has proven to be extremely proficient at portraying emotions, using specific tones of voice and sometimes mimicking facial expressions. The NAO and MILO robots are being used with great success to help children with autism learn how to read emotions and socialize. Of all the robots in this article, this one is probably changing the most lives.