We've seen a fair share of weird things at CES 2017 already, but there was one outside the Las Vegas Convention Center that surprised a few of us Engadget editors yesterday. As we were walking toward the event, we came across an unattended (and seemingly unnamed) robot that takes voice commands to show off its spray painting skills. While it is obviously no Banksy, it's yet another example of how Bluetooth devices are being used to control stuff around you. Sure, this isn't the most practical use for voice commands, but you can't deny how neat the project is.
Since making its first public appearance last October, Sharp Corp.'s humanoid robot smartphone, RoBoHoN, has created a lot of buzz. But the eye-catching 19.5-cm-tall robot, which can walk, talk and dance but still works as a phone, has also left many people wondering why a phone and a robot should be bundled together, and what Sharp's long game is. As it turns out, Sharp is dead serious about the project. Officials say the firm thinks a robot phone could be the next big thing -- in fact, as big as the smartphone boom. The company is even envisioning a science fiction-like future in which everyone will carry his or her own robot phone that doubles as a personal assistant.
Since our preview launch back in December, followed by the announcement of our funding round and the release of Roger on Android, we've been hard at work trying to keep up with all the feedback and requests from a seemingly global community that, like ourselves, believes we should talk more often. Today, we're taking another major step in making voice ubiquitous, as Roger evolves into the first-of-its-kind voice platform, completely integrated with the services you use everyday. This is a very special milestone for our team. I can clearly remember our discussion over dinner, the very first day we began building Roger. That question remained with us throughout the journey.