A Look Back at the Weirdest Robots to Grace CES Over the Years

A Look Back at the Weirdest Robots to Grace CES Over the Years
Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo

The annual biggest consumer electronics show is the home to many goofy concept devices, phones, cars and product launches that are cool and creative, but people also love the weird robots at CES. Including us.

While we know very little about the lovable, goofy and weird robots that will be appearing at CES 2022, we do know our favourite weird robots from past CES shows. Here’s a look at all the wonderful, creepy and weird robots from the CES shows of the past.

The Fujitsu Emotion Bear (CES 2011)

Starting creepy more than weird, the Fujitsu Emotion Bear visits you in your dreams. I’m kidding, no robot knows how to do that (yet).

The Fujitsu Emotion Bear can talk and react to you touching it, with a range of sensors placed all over its body and a camera placed inside its nose (it can recognise your expressions with this). The intention: lonely people who are allergic to animals.

If you tickle him, he laughs, if you rub his nose, he can sneeze and if you don’t buy him (note: you can’t) you won’t have a cursed-looking bear in your home. It’s a humble idea, but we’re calling it creepy.

Justin Bieber’s dancing robot (CES 2012)

Remember back in 2012 when Justin Bieber’s career was in full flight, two years after the release of his hit single ‘Baby’? Well, in 2012, Bieber himself attended CES and showed off a weird dancing robot.

Built by TOSY Robotic, this robot is able to dance to music and play it out of his little body, which included a portable MP3 player (remember those?). It was intended to be a toy for kids, although this model sure was creepy-looking, with its crotch-mounted speaker and oddly-human face. Surprising nobody, TOSY Robotic has more friendly-looking robots these days.

EatART’s Titanoboa (CES 2013)

Love snakes? Love robots? Well boy, do I have a crossover for you.

Back in 2013, eatART revealed a giant heckin’ snek which slithered around CES that year. It was 50 feet long and sports a giant open jaw. It wont eat you, but it goes to show how we can use snake physicality in engineering and robotics. No, you can’t buy Titanoboa, stop asking.

Budgee (CES 2015)

Weighing in at an expensive US $1400, Budgee from Five Elements Robotics is a luggage-carrying robot that was shaped like a friend. He could carry up to 15 pounds and featured two cute flashing eyes. He follows a node that you attach to your belt, so you’ll never lose him.

He looks totally goofy and miserable with his tiny little carry sack tucked against him and yet he’ll continue to serve you. You can find other Budgee models on the official website, including NannyBudgee and TeleBudgee.

Lovot (CES 2018)

Last on our list is the Lovot bot from Groove X — a weird robot from CES 2018. He’s designed to make people feel better and is a terrific cuddler. He kinda looks like a sloth, which makes sense, considering he’ll be cuddling you like a Sloth cuddles a tree trunk, but his eyes make him very personable. Weird… but oddly cute, in a Pixar-humanising-inanimate-objects kinda way.

Is he a good robot for getting anything done? Hell no, look at him, he could trip and die going down a small incline – buuuut he’s a cuddler that can track motion and body language. Unfortunately, you can only by Lovot in Japan right now.

Of course, there are plenty of other weird and wonderful robots that have graced CES over the years — some of them even have a useful purpose. Do you have a favourite weird robot from CES? Let us know. And stay tuned to Gizmodo Australia for our CES 2022 robot coverage.