CES 2021 Is All About the Robots

Even from a distance, the power, intelligence, and sheer oddness of these robots is impressive

Lance Ulanoff
Published in
6 min readJan 12, 2021


Shadow Robot’s incredibly dexterous robot hands. Credit: Shadow Robots

Navigating the all-digital CES 2021 is a lot like chipping away at a monolithic rock, hoping to find a fossil or gem.

Without the ability to walk the long show floor halls or attend the nighttime boil down events that compress the best of the show into a ballroom floor (or two), I’m left to dig through my email and hundreds of links on the inscrutable CES 2021 website.

It’s in these digital buckets and among a few keynotes that I’ve discovered the binary beating heart of robot innovation.

We remain miles away from the Star Wars droids of our dreams, but in new products and functioning concepts, I am finally seeing hints of our Jetsons future.

Samsung’s Bot Handy. Credit: Samsung

Samsung got my hopes up with its one-armed and somewhat comically named “Bot Handy.” During the keynote, Samsung showed Bot Handy helping set a dinner table and bring a drink to its owner. Samsung literally described it as “an extra hand.”

Samsung’s Bot Handy is not coming to a store near you. Credit: Samsung

Aside from that one arm and claw at the end, Bot Handy bears little resemblance to the human form, even though its long thin body does have a digital face, of sorts.

And while Samsung reports that Bot Handy has successfully carried out the demonstrated tasks in test settings, the company offered no further details on price and availability.

Robot companionship, though, will not be impossible to come by. I found a number of robot pets, dogs, and even cats.

The MOFLIN robot has been compared to a “Star Trek” tribble by William Shatner. Credit: Vanguard Technologies

First, there’s MOFLIN, a furry critter of indeterminate species that responds to touch and, according to Vanguard Technologies, can use artificial intelligence (A.I.) to learn and grow…



Lance Ulanoff

Tech expert, journalist, social media commentator, amateur cartoonist and robotics fan.