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CES: The weird and wonderful from Las Vegas

Raspberry Pi robots, iPhone stun guns and scary man stalking kids via Bluetooth
Fri Jan 10 2014, 11:31

THIS YEAR's CES is almost over, and now that we've left Sin City and arrived back in the normal world, we can reflect on the oddest technology we saw at this year's show.

There were some exciting announcements made at CES this year, including Intel's launch of its Edison chip, Samsung's unveiling of the Galaxy Tab Pro and Note Pro lineups, and the arrival of Nvidia's Tegra K1 system on chip, but the show floor is also a place for little-known companies from across the globe to show off their latest weird and wonderful technology products.

Here's our roundup of the most weird and wonderful things that we saw at CES 2014.

Rapiro robot
The Raspberry Pi powered Rapiro isn't your average robot, but it definitely falls into the wonderful category here.

Rapiro is a Rasbperry Pi powered robot

Shipping to Raspberry Pi owners as a do it yourself (DIY) kit, the Rapiro humanoid robot can be programmed to do pretty much anything you want it to, be it dance to its heart's content until its battery runs out or clean up after you.

The 3D printer that prints sweets
US company 3D Systems took to this year's CES to showcase Chefjet, a 3D printer capable of churing out sweets. While this made a nice change from the onslaught of companies printing out replicas of attendees faces and pen tops, at the price of $5,000 for the basic model we're not sure that it's going to catch on.

Trewgrip keyboard
With Blackberry clinging to its last percent of market share for dear life, Trewgrip was keen to show at this year's CES that the smartphone QWERTY keyboard is not dead yet, but perhaps it is as we know it.

Trewgrip mobile QWERTY rear

The Trewgrip mobile QWERTY keyboard turns the traditional keyboard on its head. It slices the traditional QWERTY layout in half and turns it on its side, which means that it will take a while to get used to, although there are corresponding letters and numbers on the front of the device. It's also a rather large add-on to carry about in your bag every day, with the Trewgrip supporting tablets up to 7in screen size.

Intel's wireless charging bowl
Chipmaker Inel was one of the stars of this year's CES, unveiling everything from the SD card-sized Edision PC to its own smartwatch device. However, perhaps the quirkiest thing that Intel unveiled was the wireless charging bowl. The bowl uses magnetic resonance technology to charge devices that are thrown into it, and Intel claims it is capable of charging pretty much anything.

Ecovacs Winbot
The Ecovacs Winbot, a window cleaning robot, was easily one of the oddest gadgets we saw at this year's CES. Still, it certainly managed to grab our attention.

Ecovacs Winbot

The Ecovacs Winbot is capable of travelling along vertical surfaces in order to clean them, and it can detect the edges of a piece of glass so it doesn't fall off the side. There's no information yet as to when the robot will make it to market.

Yellow Jacket iPhone case
You know those moments on the tube where somebody gets a little too close, or decides to use your head as a newspaper stand? Those are the moments when the Yellow Jacket iPhone case could come in handy. That is because the case doubles as a stun gun. Although it's not as powerful as a taser, the firm behind the case claims that it can cause temporary paralysis, and said it will be arriving for the iPhone 5 and 5S on shop shelves in February. Oh dear.

This robot riding a bike
We don't know much about this bike riding robot, but we know that it is awesome.

Bike riding robot at CES 2014

Spotted on the CES show floor, the robot uses a gyroscope sensor that enables it to remain upright. It's capable of following directions from a wand-like device, which if moved forward will cause the robot to move the bike forwards, and if moved backwards will cause it to reverse.

Michael Bay's meltdown
One of the weirdest things that happened at this year's CES was Michael Bay's on-stage meltdown at the Samsung press conference, which The INQUIRER was lucky enough to witness. The meltdown came after Bay's teleprompter lost its place and he was momentarily lost for words when asked why he was a fan of Samsung's curved Ultra HD TVs. Quite the evangelist, then.

And a special mention goes to...
The poster below advertising a Bluetooth tracker that we spotted on the CES show floor, and which we will present without words. µ

CES Bluetooth tracker poster


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