We’re knee-deep in pre-CES news right now, and gearing up for the big show next week. But even in the midst of the news rush about robots and gadgets we’ll meet in Las Vegas, a few non-CES items caught our eye this week. We’ve shared a few of our favorites here.
Fro-doze, “Sleep-Friendly” ice cream on its way
A bowl of creamy, delicious ice cream and a good night’s sleep are like the peanut butter and chocolate of evening activities (they go great together). Now a company called Nightfood is looking to take that pairing a step further with a new line of what it’s calling “sleep-friendly” ice cream. No, there won’t be any Nyquil mixed in with its frozen delights. Rather, all the ingredients have been curated so as not to interfere with sleep--so less sugar and sodium, etc. The ice cream comes out in February and I for one, can’t wait to eat many pints in the service of sleep science. (The Daily Meal)
Lego robot brings you a beer
Perhaps you’ll be spending your weekend settling in front of the TV to watch some football (go, Seahawks!). The only thing that would probably make that experience even better is having a robot to run back and forth to the kitchen to fetch you a beer or other beverage. The folks at BuWizz, which makes motors for Lego contraptions, did just that. Built from Legos, the BuWizz beer bot is remote controlled with your phone and can open a fridge door (with a little help), then open and pour your beer. It’s crude, not entirely accurate with the pouring, and from the video looks to take longer than just grabbing the beer yourself, but it’s better than anything I ever built with Legos. (The Sociable)
Checkout camera counts cost and calories
Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University has developed an AI-powered camera that can be mounted at self-checkout lines in cafeterias that can tally up the cost--and calories--of food being purchased. The Aeye-go uses computer vision to recognize colors and patterns in food to charge the right amount of money and inform students of their impending caloric intake. The system is currently in use in several universities in Shanghai. (South China Morning Post)