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Stein Danielsen on what industry can learn from CES

The man who told you about the industrial metaverse, Stein Danielsen, Cognite’s Chief Solutions Officer, is back, and this time he’s talking about the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

The annual Vegas-based gadget extravaganza that is CES took place in the early days of 2022, with a mostly stay-at-home audience thanks to Omicron. But that didn’t stop the consumer electronics giants of the world from rolling out the latest and greatest in slimmer, curvier or even color-changing contraptions to wow their viewers.

Stein follows the event closely each year, so we thought we’d pick his brain on what the industrial world can learn from the big reveals at CES.

Does CES tell us anything about the future of industry?

SD: I definitely see a crossover into industry. The consumer industry is a few years ahead of industry on many fronts. In previous years it has been about handheld devices and wireless sensors. This year, I feel it was very much about robotics.

Like what?

SD: CES had a record number of new robots and in so many shapes and sizes. The usage areas span from entertainment, to hospitality, to automatically disinfecting rooms and delivering goods. I think most or all of these are applicable to industry.

Did any of the featured robots stand out as having specific industrial potential?

SD: One example is the remote-controlled robot Beomni. Beomni could easily be a telepresence option for industrial sites. It features arms and very delicate hands that allow for operating equipment remotely. LG showed CLOi, a GuideBot and a ServeBot, both of which could easily work in industry. And Samsung revealed their home companion robots, the Samsung Bot I and the Samsung Bot Handy, along with an AI Avatar. These would be great industrial coworkers, enabling telepresence and remote access to sites.

So, how far have we really come with these robots? Are they industry-ready?

SD: From my point of view, the manual, remotely operated robots are really starting to show promise to do actual work right now. As for the autonomous robots, I think we’ve solved (on an academic level) two out of the three requirements. We’ve solved the spatial awareness and the learning loop, just like a human. But we still lack actual robot hardware that can move like a human. But we’re getting there, and it’s exciting to see that in many areas and tasks – we are there!

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