Honda bringing new robot concepts to 2018 CES

The rise of the robots cometh…to the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show next month. We’ve already seen a handful of other robot concepts coming to the show, but Honda has revealed what it has in store. The company’s famed Asimo will stay home, but four new robots will make their debuts: 3E-A18, 3E-B18, 3E-C18, and 3E-D18.

Each robot’s surname, 3E, encompasses three pillars of empower, experience, and empathy. Each is different in their execution, but they all strive to exude one of the three pillars. B18, C18, and D18 are most alike since all are mobility concepts.

Honda calls B18 a “chair-type mobility concept” for use indoors and outdoors; C18 is a smaller-sized mobility concept with a multi-functional cargo space; and D18 is a self-driving off-road concept complete with artificial intelligence systems. D18 looks a bit like an autonomous ATV of sorts, but we’ll have to wait for more details.

Finally, A18 is something different altogether, and perhaps the creepiest. It’s a “companion robotics concept” that has the ability to show compassion to humans through a range of expressions. Honda wants 3E-A18 to feel things.

In addition to the four robots, Honda will also bring its Mobile Power Pack World. The unit includes a swappable battery pack for electric cars that can be re-charged at home for future use. Battery swapping has long been a potential way to combat range anxiety. Honda also envisions the unit as a supplement to recreational activities and as an important accessory in natural disasters.

Look for all of Honda’s concepts at the start of CES on January 9. More coverage on the show can be found here.

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