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Robot kitten and anti-Covid masks at the annual technology fair


Cute robots, anti-coronavirus technologies, speakers, lamps, toothbrushes and various electric and autonomous devices were presented on Monday, as a preview of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The consumer electronics high mass opens Wednesday with fewer exhibitors and attendees than expected, with many companies canceling their attendance due to the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. Selected pieces.

Masque hi-tech anti-Covid

The French start-up Airxôm brought its prototype mask from Lyon, which protects against pollution, bacteria and viruses, including SARS-CoV-2.

Its white plastic shell, which covers the nose and mouth, evokes the imperial soldiers of “Star Wars”. Connected to a box to be worn on the belt, it contains an “active” filter capable of destroying fine particles and volatile organic compounds, that is to say pathogens or pollutants.

“It’s a fantastic tool to fight the Covid crisis, because with this mask you won’t need to do a fourth vaccination, a fifth and a sixth, depending on all the variants of the virus and all the new viruses that will arrive in the future ”, promises Franck Glaizal, co-founder of Airxôm.

“Classic masks are not 100% waterproof, the air passes on the sides. Our mask is completely waterproof and very comfortable, ”assures Trong Dai Nguyen, who is difficult to hear through the thick mask.

This Airxôm engineer specifies that the company is working to improve the sound for the next version. The current model is to be marketed in the spring, “for around 300 euros”.

“If we change our (surgical) masks every four hours, after three years it is more expensive than our mask,” says Trong Dai Nguyen.

Hidden fan

Tired of suffocating under his anti-Covid mask, Eric Fouchard has developed a mini-ventilation system that is placed under the paper protection.

Called Aeronest, the micro ventilator from the start-up NewPadMaker holds in place thanks to a double magnet and is powered by a tiny battery, attached to a cord that runs over the user’s neck.

“When you take the plane or the train, it allows you to breathe normally”, indicates the entrepreneur to AFP. “It can also be used when you are working and want to prevent fogging from forming on your glasses.”

The speed can be adjusted as needed, he adds.

The robot that nibbled

In Japanese, the expression “amagami” means “soft bite”. “It’s a very nice feeling that we want to share with the world,” says Japanese entrepreneur Shunsuke Aoki.

Its plush robot, which looks as much like a cat as it does a small dog, gently nibbles the finger that comes under its muzzle.

The start-up sought to replicate this instinctive gesture of baby animals, with the idea that people could find comfort in it.

Shunsuke Aoki, for example, says he uses the companion robot while he is driving. “With the Covid, when people spend their day at home, it’s very comforting,” he notes.

Unmanned racing cars

Artificial intelligence technologies are replacing the steering wheels and the humans at the controls in the Formula 1-type cars that will compete on Friday in an unprecedented race.

“They are completely autonomous. It’s the software that runs the car, ”explains Paul Mitchell, boss of Energy Systems Network, the race organizer.

The computer system “takes the information from the sensors and orders the automobile to turn, brake, accelerate or pass,” he adds.

The machines will compete in pairs on the Las Vegas circuit at speeds of up to 260 km / h. The idea is not only to entertain, but also to test and improve this software, with a view to using it one day on the highway.

“Racing cars and racing in general are a perfect way to push technology to the absolute limit,” says Mitchell.

AFP

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