Alexa, Siri, and Google's Assistant have gotten us used to the idea of talking to robots. The Kuri Home Robot aims to making living with them commonplace, too. Standing 20 inches tall, a foot wide, and weighing in a 14 lbs, Kuri bears at least a passing resemblance to Big Hero 6's Baymax, no doubt helped along by animations designed by a Pixar vet. Powerful motors enable Kuri to follow you around, even over carpet and thresholds, multiple mics ensure it can hear what you're saying, and a built-in 1080p camera lets you check in on things when you're away. Kuri can also recognize faces, detects objects and automatically maps out your house, and has powerful speakers that can read stories, play music, or just serve to speak its playful robot language.
It looks like something out of a sci-fi movie. That might have something to do with Vitaly Bulgarov, whose conceptual design work can be seen in movies like RoboCop, Transformers: Age of Extinction, and Terminator: Genisys. But the Hankook Mirae Method-2 Robot Suit is no CGI dream. Instead, it's a 1.5-ton, 13-foot tall manned robot. Sit inside the cockpit, move your arms, and its arms will move as well. It's still taking "baby steps", according to the company's chairman, but should be moving far more freely when it goes on sale late next year.
There's a reason autonomous flying modes have been a key element of this year's big drone announcements: most people aren't that great at controlling them with what's in essence a legacy R/C plane controller. The Shift Drone overcomes that not with autonomy, but with a novel new control scheme. To fly it, you simply grab a stick-like box and wear a special ring on your thumb, which floats above the sensors on the top. Move your thumb up to go up, left to fly left, etc., giving you intuitive one-handed control. There's a 13 megapixel/4K camera on board, and an optional extension lets you control the camera and view real-time feed back via your smartphone.
Autonomous lawnmowers have been around for a few years now. But the Kobi Lawn Robot is far more than just a high-tech grass-cutter. In the summer, it can keep your lawn mowed, using weather forecasts to know when to cut and mulching the clippings to keep your yard healthy. In the fall, a separate module lets it clear both your yard and driveway of leaves, and during the winter, the snow module dutifully clears your driveway so you don't have to venture out in the cold — unless you want to, of course. It's powered by quiet, efficient brushless motors and a lithium-ion battery, and will automatically return to its charging station when it's running low on juice.