13 Strange Scenes From CES 2011

The Good, The Bad And The Weird

The annual Consumer Electronics Show is always a good place to find odd products, crazy gadgets, bizarre booths and outrageous outfits (including these giant birds from ViewSonic). From robotic seals and costumed crazies to aliens and toilet humor, here are some of the strangest scenes from CES 2011.

Space Invaders!

Pepcom's Digital Experience event had an unusual theme this year: Area 51. The ballroom was decorated with flying saucers and aliens and other strange paraphernalia, including this strange guy sitting above the "Area 51 Bar."

Crystal Skulls?

In keeping with the Area 51 theme, Digital Experience had a couple of ice sculpture martini bars. This one, sponsored by Lenovo, reminded us a little of "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls." And no, that's not really a good thing.

In The Toilet

Copia, a new "social reading" platform that combines e-reading with social networking, had a large booth at CES 2011. And to promote e-readers over traditional paperback and hardcover books, the company indulged in a little toilet humor.

Cleaning Windows

If we can have a robotic vacuum cleaner like the Roomba, then why not a robotic window washer? Instead of using those clunky -- and dangerous -- window-washing platforms and risking lives, you can use the Windoro, a new gadget from South Korea's Pohang Institute of Intelligent Robotics that can be attached to windows via magnets and automatically cleans them.

Kiddie Cams!

Crayons and coloring books are so 20th Century. Now kids can express themselves with Crayola's digital camcorder, which comes with easy-to-use buttons, a 1.5-inch preview screen and "Video Genie" software that lets children add music and video effects to their films.

Auto-Massage, Anyone?

We've got robots that can automatically clean our floors and windows. So how about one that will massage your aching back muscles? The WheeMe from DreamBots is a little robot that fits in the palm of your hand and looks like a toy car. But the WheeMe drives around your back with special "wheels" that deliver an "addictive massage," according to DreamBots.

Don't Tase Me, Bro!

Taser International showed off some of its wares at CES 2011, including the X12 shotgun unit. Like other handheld Taser units, the X12 doesn't shoot bullets but instead fires projectiles that give its targets quite a shock. The menacing-looking X12 is designed for longer-range shooting, unlike the standard handheld Taser units.

Crazy Cosplay

We're not exactly sure why this woman is dressed like a character from "World of WarCraft." But this was one of the more colorful outfits we saw at the Las Vegas Convention Center -- although she'll probably have to check that dagger with her luggage on the flight home from Las Vegas.

Go Speed Racer, Go!

Educational science kits are getting so advanced. Developed by Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies, the H-racer 2.0 is a clean energy educational kit that allows users to create their own fuel using water and sunlight to power the hydrogen fuel cell-based electronic model car. Even toys are becoming more green these days.

Shout It Out Loud!

No, it's not really Gene Simmons, even though his badge read "Gene" and his tongue was quite long. But we had to check to make sure.

Nursing Time

Everyone loves baby seals, right? Japanese technology company AIST introduced these "therapeutic robots" at CES 2011, dubbed PAROs. The company says the PARO robot, which looks and "acts" like baby harp seals, is designed to deliver animal therapy and stimulate to patients suffering psychological and cognitive disorders.

Hatchet Job

Nvidia had an interesting character at its booth at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Visitors could pose for a digital photo with the blue belle, which was rendered in 3-D using Nvidia's new technology.

Avatar Lives

James Cameron's 3-D epic "Avatar" was everywhere at last year's CES, but the film still made a number of appearances at several 3-D TV manufacturers' booths, including Panasonic's, which had this unusual and extremely elaborate sand sculpture on display.