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January 12, 2019

A pet robot that coos when its owner strokes it and behaves as a loyal companion for lonely elderly people is among the hit products at the world's biggest technology fair.

Its Japanese manufacturer, Groove X, said its robot Lovot, which comes complete with cartoon eyes and fuzzy teddy bear arms, had been built to "nurture people's capacity to love" by demanding the affection of its owner.

Packed with sensors to respond to human touch, it waves its arms in the air until it is cuddled, and will trail around on wheels behind its owner. It will even "fall asleep" in their arms.

One of the biggest themes at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where the world's top tech companies go to show off their latest hardware, is technology for ageing baby boomers.

Lovot uses a video camera mounted on its head to recognise the face of its owner and to avoid collisions. Groove X hopes that the robots, which cost US$6000 (NZ$8800) for a pair, will be a hit with Japan's elderly, but al...

January 6, 2019

Exosuits

As robot workers are looking less likely and too expensive for companies, a technology that allows employers to power up their human staff more efficiently is emerging.

Called exosuits, the mechanical vests can be worn to give any individual increased strength and endurance, allowing them to carry out strenuous tasks in factories and construction sites with ease.

Exosuits could also have a medical application, helping the many millions living with disabilities; those with impaired movement being given greater walking ability with mechanical trousers.

Whilst exosuits have already been adopted widely in Asia, the technology slowly crept into North America and Europe in 2018.

I wonder where I can order one?

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