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Two weeks ago, I went on an adventure to Las Vegas to learn all about the latest and greatest technology. As someone who designs consumer products for a living, many of which include electronics, it’s only natural to visit CES (formerly the Consumer Electronics Show). I’m sure you’ve heard about the cutting edge releases, like 8K TVs, wearables galore, Razer’s triple display gaming laptop, and the takeover of Amazon’s Alexa assistant, but I’m here to show you CES through the eyes of a mechanical engineer. This means cars, 3D printers, and laundry robots. And boy, CES did not disappoint.

First stop was the Modulus Media Systems booth. You guessed it, they’re our client! As someone relatively new to professional mechanical engineering, it was a dream come true to see one of my products on display at CES. Modulus is shaking up the home theater industry by developing an all-in-one system to put your movies, streaming, personal media, and cable box all in one place. How convenient is that?

Next stop, the cars. Faraday Future’s FF 91 was the talk of the show, announcing their autonomous all-electric car that’s supposed to blow Tesla out of the water. With 1,000+ horsepower (that’s right, one thousand horsepower), zero-to-60 in 2.39s, and the ability to park itself with an Auto-Valet, the FF 91 appears to have it all. However, it’s still a ways from being released (they’re starting production in 2018) and will run you $200,000 to $300,000. There were also other neat vehicles on display, such as the Ford GT that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and a very odd concept car by Toyota.

Not to be outdone, there were dozens of different 3D printers on display, capable of printing anything from metal to ceramic and whatever colors you can imagine. There was even a 5-arm 3D printer called Titan that prints enormous objects 5 times as fast. And just as you thought I was done with cars, I present to you… a 3D printed car!

All right, I’m done with 3D printers and cars now, I promise. Now onto the final segment, laundry robots and other neat things! Home automation was big at CES 2017, and while you may have seen announcements about smart fridges, mirrors, and smart home systems, I was most drawn to FoldiMate’s laundry robot, priced at ~$700. Just clip in your t-shirts and pants, and the robot folds a freshly steamed stack of items for you. There’s still a ways to go before I’d buy a laundry robot, but at least someone is working on innovating the industry. It’s about time!

Attending CES was an incredible experience. From the new technologies to the over-the-top booths, I learned so much about the industry and the possibilities that are out there. Now, time to get some sleep!

Annie Cardinal

Author Annie Cardinal

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