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Groove X Lovot Hands-On: Too Damn Cute at CES 2019

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Some robots are designed to build cars. Others are meant to perform surgery or help astronauts in space. The Lovot, however, has a far simpler and adorable mission in life: to make you smile. The pint-sized cutie, developed by a Japanese robotics startup called Groove X, rolls around and bumps into furniture with the grace and curiosity of a five-year old toddler. The robot will stare up at you with its big, beady eyes and flap two small, pudgy hands when it wants to be picked up and coddled like a baby.


Presenting the Best of CES 2019 winners!

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Several hours of discussions and debate later, Engadget's editors have decided who among our finalists should win our Best of CES awards. Below is our list of winners for each category, as well as Best of the Best and People's Choice. The Gait Enhancing Motivational System (or GEMS, for short) is Samsung's conceptual line of assistive wearables. The biggest of them all is the GEMS-H, a lower-body exoskeleton. Weighing in at 4.6 pounds, the GEMS-H is light enough to be comfortable to wear, with an unobtrusive and some might call attractive design.


The Morning After: Apple's CES ad and Amazon's Alexa army

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Welcome to your Monday morning! Engadget is reporting live from the world's biggest tech event, CES. We'll be here delivering all the biggest news from the likes of Google, Samsung, Sony and the rest. Expect liveblogs and three epic days of our live stage shows, which all culminates with the official Best of CES awards on Thursday at 8pm ET / 5pm PT. Welcome to your Monday morning!


Watch this giant laundry-folding robot handle a stack of shirts

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This isn't the first time we've seen a laundry-folding robot. In fact, the last time we saw one, it turned out to be a faked demo. So when we saw that the company Foldimate had turned up again to this year's CES, we were suspicious. This time, though, the startup came with a working prototype in tow. For those of you who read the words "laundry-folding robot" and were expecting a set of nimble, anthropomorphic hands, you're in for a disappointment.


What to expect at CES 2019

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We're not quite done dusting off the glitter from our New Year's Day celebrations, but it's time to turn our attention once again to that other big event in January: the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Yes, the annual flurry of tech and gadgets returns to Las Vegas next week, and we'll be right there in the middle of it all to check out what's new. From smart homes to the biggest of big-screen TVs, here's a brief sneak peek at what we expect from this year's show. Maybe more than anything else, CES is a wonderland for people who obsess over screens. From big to small, we're going to get a sense of what the displays of the future will look like.


Our favorite games of 2018

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It didn't take long for us to declare 2017 a pretty great year for games, with a spectacular roster that included Super Mario Odyssey, Wolfenstein: The New Colossus and Assassin's Creed Origins. In our roundup last December we also listed what we were looking forward to in 2018 and, while very few of those titles made our final list this year, we can still confidently declare these past twelve months still pretty awesome in the world of gaming. We got a new God of War title and possibly the best Smash Bros. installment yet, while a few indies like Into the Breach and Celeste knocked it out of the park as well. Rather than try to come up with a simple "best of" list, the editorial team here at Engadget proudly presents the games that made the biggest impact on us this year, whether they were technically impressive, emotionally engaging or just flat-out fun. I'd fallen into a Yakuza-shaped hole and was playing my way through that series' remastered editions. Waiting paid off, though -- the godly epic from SIE Santa Monica Studio landed on PSN for roughly half price a few months later. While I was never a fan of the original game's angry, horny protagonist Kratos, the idea that they'd given him a few decades of maturity and a new on-trend daddy look intrigued me. Then there were the fraught father-son dynamics, and the posit of throwing Greek god mythology up against Norse gods.


2018 is the year AI got its eyes

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Computer scientists have spent more than two decades teaching, training and developing machines to see the world around them. Only recently have the artificial eyes begun to match (and occasionally exceed) their biological predecessors. In September of this year, a team of researchers from Google's DeepMind division published a paper outlining the operation of their newest Generative Adversarial Network. Dubbed BigGAN, this image-generation engine leverages Google's massive cloud computing power to create extremely realistic images. But, even better, the system can be leveraged to generate dreamlike, almost nightmarish, visual mashups of objects, symbols and virtually anything else you train the system with.


Black Mirror's interactive Netflix movie is streaming now

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As the rumors suggested, Black Mirror's one-off holiday special is a different kind of show: an interactive drama where you choose how you mess things up. Launching today on Netflix, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch marks the first time the streaming company's used interactivity on a show that's not aimed at kids, like last year's Puss In Boots or Minecraft: Story mode. After a brief intro explaining how it all works (and messing with your brain in typical Black Mirror style), the show kicks off like any other BM episode. You'll come up against decisions as the story progresses, where you'll have tap or click on a black box in order for the show to progress. There's a timer too: the show will pick for you if you don't hustle.


The Morning After: Amazon's Alexa adds security to its resume

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As we feel our way through the haze that is a combination of corporate party and holiday-season prep, Monday kicks off with stories on Alexa's new security talents, a car coming in 2021 that we already drove, and expect Year In Review reports to start hitting Engadget later this week. Amazon's framework can arm your system with just your voice. Amazon has upgraded its voice assistant to work with security systems. You can arm or disarm them, specify certain modes (home, away and night) and simply check in. The functionality is available now in the US, with companies like Abode, ADT, Honeywell, Ring and Scout Alarm already using it.


Speculative gadgets at the Future Interfaces Group

Engadget

To try to get a glimpse of the everyday devices we could be using a decade from now, there are worse places to look than inside the Future Interfaces Group (FIG) lab at Carnegie Mellon University. During a recent visit to Pittsburgh by Engadget, PhD student Gierad Laput put on a smartwatch and touched a Macbook Pro, then an electric drill, then a door knob. The moment his skin pressed against each, the name of the object popped up on an adjacent computer screen. Each item had emitted a unique electromagnetic signal which flowed through Laput's body, to be picked up by the sensor on his watch. The software essentially knew what Laput was doing in dumb meatspace, without a pricey sensor needing to be embedded (and its batteries recharged) on every object he made contact with.