Companies Set to Virtually Showcase New Technology in Robotics and AI at CES 2021

January 08, 2021 by Maddie Bradshaw

The Consumer Electronics Show is generally suited for product designers and tech enthusiasts, but recently they have identified trends for experts in automation and industrial sectors.

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) takes place annually and is organized by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

The event first kicked off in 1967 and has gained traction as one of the largest technology shows ever since. CES usually takes place face-to-face in mid-January. However, this year, the show will be virtual for the first time


What to Expect for a Virtual CES

The CTA first announced this show would be digital back in July of 2020. CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro stated, "CES 2021 will be different. It will be all-digital. It is the right way to focus on the cause of innovation in this unique moment in our shared global history".


Attendees at the 2020 CES show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Image courtesy of SAE International. 


CES will start on Monday, January 11, and run through Thursday, January 14th, 2021. While CES is usually held at the Last Vegas Convention Center, there will be no physical demonstrations or booths this year. 

CTA promises that this event will still be interactive, even on a virtual level. To register for CES, attendees need to have a credible connection to the consumer technology industry. The event is closed to the general public. CES Registration is currently $499.00 USD. However, attendees with news and media credentials can register for free until January 8, 2021. Attendees and users can complete registration online on their website. 


CES 2021 Covers Topics in Robotics, AI, and Manufacturing

CES is expanding the show this year to reach more corners of consumer technology. In recent years, the show has highlighted trends such as cobots, Industry 4.0, and AI. This year, the show tackles more topics in the automation sector. 



CES has over 200 companies involved with robotics on their exhibitor list this year. Some companies include UBTECH RoboticsNCCR Robotics, and Seoul Robotics


Employees working with robotic software technology. Image courtesy of UBTECH Robotics.


The show will cover topics including intelligent and autonomous robots and drones. They will highlight robots paving the way in food and beverage, industrial, retail, mobility, and health care. According to their website, CES 2021 will have some of the following breakout sessions:


  • Up and Away: Drones and Advanced Air Mobility - Jan. 12, 5:00 PM - 5:30 PM EST

  • Robotics to the Rescue - Jan. 13, 2:30 PM - 3:00 PM EST

  • Retail’s New Look: Shopper's Little Helpers - Jan. 13, 4:15 PM - 4:45 PM EST


Robots and drones are everywhere now. Companies have recently found more innovative ways to utilize robots and drones in manufacturing. Attendees interested in drones may be surprised to learn about how drones are advancing air mobility and detecting industrial environments such as oil refineries. 


Artificial Intelligence 

Companies will share the latest trends and products in software and hardware AI solutions. Some AI companies on the exhibitor list for CES include Maxim Integrated, OMRON, and Microsoft.


CES goes digital in 2021. Image courtesy of CTA


Many of these companies utilize machine learning and voice/touch recognition to provide seamless solutions for users.

While these concepts are typically suited for product designers and general tech consumers, machine learning has become a large part of industrial automation in the last several years. CES mentioned on their website that some conference and breakout sessions for AI are: 


  • The Power of AI - Jan. 12, 7:30 AM - 8:00 AM EST

  • Trust and The Impact of AI on Health Care - Jan. 12, 10:15 AM - 10:45 AM EST

  • Technological Megashifts Impacting our World - Jan. 13, 9:45 AM - 10:15 AM EST


Keynote Speakers and Additional Highlights 

CES invited featured speakers from several different companies. Some of the keynote speakers include:

  • Lisa Su, CEO, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
  • Mary Barra, CEO, General Motors
  • Corie Barry, CEO, Best Buy
  • Keith Enright, Chief Privacy Officer, Google

In addition to the keynote speakers, CES is providing over 100 conference sessions and just around 2,000 exhibits this year.

Karen Chupka, EVP, CES, CTA, said, "CES 2021 will be a collaborative experience, encouraging connections between audiences and exhibitors from around the world.”

Are you attending CES 2021? What trends do you see coming out of CES this year?