Home Bots & Business CES Unveiled: Exploring the Expanding Horizons of Technology, from AI to Robotics

CES Unveiled: Exploring the Expanding Horizons of Technology, from AI to Robotics

by Marco van der Hoeven

What was once known as a consumer-focused event has expanded its horizons to encompass a diverse range of technologies, including AI, robotics, and enterprise solutions. Rocking Robots sat down with Brian Comiskey to explore the upcoming trends and innovations that will take center stage at CES, offering a comprehensive view of the ever-expanding world of technology.

Brian Comiskey is part of the market research team at the Consumer Technology Association, the organization behind CES. This team studies consumer sentiments, industry forecasts, and various reports encompassing almost every conceivable technology. He explains: “This is significant because CES amalgamates diverse technological categories, including digital health, AI, robotics, mobility, and even beauty tech, under one umbrella.”

The use of ‘consumer’ in the name thus might be a bit of a misnomer now, because CES has truly become a hub for all technologies, including enterprise solutions. “We’re witnessing the integration of robotics and AI in enhancing workplace efficiency, from talent management and recruitment to accounts payable processes. Cybersecurity also garners significant attention, not just through exhibits but also in discussions on the CES stage. These conversations involve government officials, policy leaders, and tech pioneers who brainstorm about the future trajectories of these technologies. In essence, CES is a comprehensive technology exhibition catering to a wide audience.”


AI will be an important topic in the next edition. “When we talk about AI, ChatGPT has undoubtedly garnered immense enthusiasm this year. This excitement is entirely justified, given its tangible application for consumers: anyone can input a query and receive an instant response. However, the AI landscape is vast, stretching from microchips to full-fledged robots. At CES, AI’s multifaceted nature will be evident. Prominent chipmakers will showcase their innovations, underscoring the hardware that drives AI solutions.”

“We’ll also see data infrastructure tools, which, when combined, enable applications like the machine learning algorithms behind e-commerce. Another highlight will be digital twin technology, facilitating simulations through AI. Exhibitors will discuss how transitioning physical settings into a virtual realm can revolutionize research and development. The narrative will also encompass robotics and their role in enhancing our day-to-day lives. We term it a “horizontal technology” because it amplifies the performance across various industry sectors. In terms of our research, recent studies, primarily in the US, reveal that consumers familiar with AI are optimistic about its imminent impact, foreseeing significant changes in the next couple of years.”

“We posed this question not only in the US but also in the Netherlands, France, and the UK. A consistent response was the immense potential AI holds in healthcare. Other sectors where AI is expected to make substantial inroads include scientific research and development, smart cities, and energy management. If there’s an underlying theme, it’s that the majority, regardless of their geographic location, believe the sciences will witness considerable advancements, profoundly impacting their lives.”


“The proliferation of robots in industrial setups is interesting, particularly in automotive. However, a significant shift towards inventory and e-commerce is palpable. The momentum isn’t just in the U.S.; countries like Korea, Japan, and Germany are trailblazers in robotic density, as data from the International Federation of Robotics corroborates. What’s riveting is the dramatic turn major retailers are taking towards industrial robots and hardware solutions. For instance, Walmart aims for approximately 40% automation in their fulfillment centers by 2026. Such a profound transition from a conventional retailer to one that heavily integrates robotics is noteworthy.”

“So, CES is the place where you’ll witness the convergence of emerging innovations, particularly in areas like our startup hub. There, you’ll encounter groundbreaking developments in robotics. While we don’t possess specific data on these early-stage innovations, autonomous vehicles have been a mainstay at CES.”

“A narrative that captivates me is the concept of sensor fusion. While a camera-centric approach is viable, the incorporation of LIDAR technology adds a dimension akin to touch or hearing to a vehicle. By amalgamating these sensory inputs, we’re creating a comprehensive perception for the vehicle within its environment. At CES, you observe these individual components coalesce, illustrating the potential roadmap for the future. Transferring these technologies from vehicles to humanoid robots is fascinating. The focus is increasingly on making robots exhibit human-like responses.”

Generative AI

“Generative AI, underpinned by massive language models akin to chatbots, may very well be the defining technology of the upcoming decade. The introduction of generative AI to robotics addresses a long-standing limitation: robots’ fixed and predetermined outputs. With generative AI, robots gain the capacity for creative problem-solving. They can adapt to unforeseen challenges without necessitating manual intervention or reprogramming. Boston Dynamics, under Hyundai’s umbrella, exemplifies this trend. They navigate the complexities of the real world, where challenges aren’t always binary.”

Another fascinating domain in AI is agri-food tech, which emphasizes enhancing food security and minimizing agriculture’s environmental impact. “AI-driven solutions targeting water and waste reduction will be prominent at CES. A salient example from the Netherlands underscores the potency of such innovations: leveraging vertical farming and hydroponics, the country produces half a kilo of tomatoes using a mere two liters of water, in stark contrast to the global average of 105 liters. This disparity underscores the profound impact of amalgamating technological advancements with optimized agricultural practices.”

CES is slated for January 9-12 in Las Vegas. He concludes: “I perceive CES as a portal to the future. The scale and scope of CES are overwhelming, offering a panoramic view of technological marvels. I believe business leaders and exhibitors find immense value in the networking and collaboration opportunities.”

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