Senior Planet goes to the Consumer Electronics Show

The Consumer Electronics Show (learn more here) is wrapping up. This annual trade show is a gadget/tech/electronics extravaganza that is the proving ground for gearheads, dreamers, upstarts, startups, and inventors in new and established companies worldwide.

To stay on top of tech developments and innovations that can help Senior Planet members and improve programs offered by its parent, Older Adults Technology Services (OATS), a four person team from OATS and Senior Planet visited the show:  Tom Kamber, PhD, Executive Director of OATS/Senior Planet; Kimberly Brennsteiner, Director of Programming; Lorne MacArthur, Technology Manager, NYC Programs, and Alex Glazebrook, Director of Training and Technology.  We asked Alex to share his standout picks of some exciting standout technologies that could change how we age.


The number one pick: Forpeus, the Ping-Pong playing robot created by the company Omron.  The company used the demonstration to tease the possibilities of robotics and assistive tech in the future; by far the most impressive thing on the show floor.

Accessible Olli

Second on the list: Accessible Olli – an all-in-one, self-service vehicle that can transport those with mobility impairments from location to location.  The vehicle is fully automated, and provides a whole slew of services for riders.

Olli by Local Motors (PRNewsfoto/Local Motors)

The Samsung Flip

Third on the list: Samsung Flip – a collaborative meeting tool that projects multiple computer screens on one larger, interactive display.  The screen can be manipulated, annotated, infused with multimedia, and more. This is perfect for education, business, or trainings with Senior Planet staffers.


Buddy Companion Robot
Fourth:  the Buddy companion robot – it has great features, is very intuitive, and was the most engrossing robot on the show floor; it’s designed with companionship top of mind.

Aeolus Home Companion Robot
Fifth the Aeolus home companion robot – a multi-function robot akin to an in-home butler.  The Senior Planet staff agreed that this robot was less about companionship and more about its ability to conduct everyday household chores – pick up laundry, turn off lights, move furniture, and other tasks.

Could you be ready for a robot?

The possibility that robots can help older people remain in their homes is a tantalizing one; there are tests even now of a  technology solution, according to this report of one in-home test. You can read about the Elli Q here and even sign up to join a waitlist for a beta test.

If robots aren’t your thing, here’s a quick roundup of some cool gadgets from the show; for a longer, more extensive view, with some surprising entries, check out this list.

During the show the buzz about robotics was everywhere, but according to one roundup by Wired UK, not every robot made the grade. It looks like we’ll have to wait a while longer before we can live like the Jetsons. On the other hand, there are some roles for robots that aren’t exactly meant for the Cartoon Network, like these pole dancing robots.



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