Digital assistants and voice command-enabled robots were the highlights of this year's CES – but an embarrassing fail of LG's robot at the show reminded audiences that technical issues can occur in even the smartest robots.
LG at CES unveiled CLOi, its artificial intelligence-powered robot that the company said can respond to voice commands to control LG smart home appliances around the house.
And while the robot was at first quick to respond to Vice President of Marketing David Vanderwaal on stage, the robot soon fell silent when he asked the robot what was for dinner, what recipes were on file, and whether his clothes in the washing machine were ready.
LG said that CLOi, which competes with Apple's Siri and Amazon Alexa, is designed to " take advantage of LG's DeepThinQ deep learning technology, delivering both emotional interaction and innovative convenience."
Smart home assistants were scattered across the show floor at CES this year – in the form of speakers, digital clocks and even refrigerators – as companies saw the opportunity to use voice control systems like Alexa and Google Assistant to manage smart home devices.
According to research from CES sponsor the Consumer Technology Association, 44 percent of U.S. adults plan to purchase a smart assistant in the next year.
However, LG's technical difficulty shows that even the smartest connected products can still undergo frustrating issues – and for consumers in the home, that can make all the difference.