5 weird and wonderful products powered by AI

AI is hot right now. Amazon Alexa is a powerful AI assistant, and our cars are becoming more and more adaptable to traffic (and other cars). Yet, some of the most interesting innovations in AI might not capture as much attention. An all-terrain patrol bot? How about a trash bin that can sort pop cans for you? And, an autonomous patio shade that learns how to adjust itself. These are items that are either for sale now or will be shortly.

1. Meeting Owl videoconferencing camera

Meeting Owl by Owl Labs (PRNewsfoto/Owl Labs)

Meeting Owl by Owl Labs (PRNewsfoto/Owl Labs)  (This image must be used within the context of the news release it accompanied. Request permission from issuer for other uses.)

This small videoconferencing device looks like an owl, but it is powered by AI. You set it on a conference room table and can chat with anyone remotely. When someone talks, the device can tune its microphone to amplify that person and show them on a full-screen video. Meeting Owl, which is available now, is priced at $799.

2. Knightscope K7 all-terrain patrol bot


Knightscope K7 (Knightscope/YouTube)

An all-terrain security bot that looks like it was ripped off the screen from a “Terminator” movie? Yes, and it’s in development right now. The Knightscope security bots can detect intruders, as well as the sound of a car starting or a gunshot, during their patrol duties -- and alert personnel. Knightscope recently completed the beta release build of its four-wheel K7 robot, which was showcased at last month's ASIS security conference in Dallas.  

3. ShadeCraft Sunflower patio shade


ShadeCraft Sunflower (ShadeCraft/YouTube)

Forget autonomous cars. This is an autonomous patio umbrella, to debut next year. Using machine learning, it can learn the best angle to block out the sun. You can even control it by voice. It has a built-in charging station for your phone and a speaker for music.

4. HEXA six-legged robot


HEXA robot spider (Vincross).

What’s odd about this robot spider is how it looks so realistic when it crawls (the company says it was inspired by the real-life creature). It throws its front legs out wide to climb and seems to scope out its surroundings to make sure the coast is clear. Manufacturer Vincross describes HEXA as “the ideal hardware platform to learn and explore robotics.”

HEXA is priced at $949, or $999 with wireless charger. The robot, however, is currently sold out, with the next batch of 'spiders' scheduled to ship in January and February 2018, according to the Vincross website. Customers can sign up on a waitlist to get HEXA, the site says.


(Screenshot from www.bine.world)

5. Bin-e trash bin

The Bin-e is a smart trash bin for the office. It can automatically recognize items like glass bottles or pop cans and sort them into a bin using machine learning and image recognition. For multiple trash bins, they can learn from each other and make the sorting process even faster.