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Robots invade consumer market for play, work

January 9, 2014 | Telepresence Options

robot Japan

Story and images by Deccan Chronicle

The robots are coming, and they're here to help.

Help clean your windows, teach children, or even provide entertainment or companionship.

This week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas highlights enormous growth in robotics in a range of fields.

Meet Bo and Yana, for example -- they're cute robots that can fit in your hand and help teach youngsters about programming.

"It's all about programmable play," said Vikas Gupta, founder of California-based i-Play, which designed the toys.

The duo can play with each other, fight, display expressions with their single eye, or even hit notes on the xylophone.

"Music becomes a way for kids to be engaged," Gupta told AFP.

"We want kids to learn programming and not be bothered with cognitive overload."

The robots are designed for children as young as five, and are being launched this year in a crowdfunding effort, the former Google and Amazon executive said.

But play is just one of the many areas of robotics on display at the show, from simple one-task robots to clean a roof gutter or barbecue grill and others that can be a kind of companion to the elderly.

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