Crushed by the lines at Lady Gaga
, we stumbled aimlessly around the convention center until we noticed a group of people crowding around a small, seemingly empty stage. Was it an invisible Pico projection? A telepathic social networking demonstration? No, it was the massive, fluorescent LG booth, and the object of attraction was a small, circular vacuum cleaner with tiny spinning brushes. We bent low to hear it, and the robo-cleaner was nearly silent. With two cameras (one for corner detection and the other for locating obstacles), the disc-like robot also uses infrared and ultrasonic waves to scan the space in front of it. The disc-like cleaner was agile, politely maneuvering its way around whatever we threw at it, be it a foot or a giant hobo bag. LG is touting its simple, removable emptying mechanism and sturdy design. The Web-connected robo-maid is Wi-Fi-enabled, meaning it can send a trajectory of its path to any browser (and you can text it to do some extra cleaning, say, if you have guests coming over). Oh, and to make you totally obsolete, the thing can feed your pets with an automatic food dispenser. Thus, the robot-animal bond is successfully forged. Hug your Roomba for us on its way out.