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CES Buzz: Mercedes' Avatar concept car; Samsung makes BB-8 a reality; more

By Josh Weiss
Avatar Mercedes

The first sequel to James Cameron's Avatar is more than a year away, but Fox (now owned by Disney) is once again starting to drum up excitement for the sci-fi franchise. That includes some never-before-seen concept art, as well as a partnership with Mercedes-Benz.

Together, the two brands have unveiled an automotive view of the future they have dubbed the "VISION AVTR," which "connects human, machine and nature in an unprecedented way." With a battery made from organic, recyclable materials, the VISION AVTR is — at least right now — a fanciful hope for what could be. Since Avatar is a cautionary tale about harming the environment, this fictional car has zero impact on nature and the climate.

The public's first look at the vehicle was revealed this week at CES 2020 in Las Vegas.

Mercedes Benz Avatar

“Mercedes-Benz has always been a technology and a luxury brand. And it is time to bring luxury and sustainability even closer together. Because for us, the two are no contradiction," said Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG. “People just love their individual freedom to instantly go where they choose when they want. That’s why our perspective is clear: we understand the boundaries of our planet. But we don’t want to add new boundaries to mobility."

“Not only is it beautifully designed, but it will create a closer connection with the driver and the environment around them. One that hopefully results in a better understanding of our responsibility to the world in which we live," added Avatar producer Jon Landau.

Avatar 2 opens in theaters on Dec. 17, 2021.

With the introduction of a little fella named "Ballie," Samsung has fulfilled our dearest wish of achieving the camaraderie between Poe Dameron and BB-8.

Who is Ballie, you're probably asking yourself? Well, he's a smart little yellow ball that follows you around the house and runs your home devices. He can even interact with your pets. In short, he is BB-8 and WALL-E all rolled (pun intended) into one! 

Check out the little teaser below:

“We believe AI is the future of personalized care,” said Dr. Sebastian Seung, Executive Vice President and Chief Research Scientist at Samsung Electronics, at CES. “We see on-device AI as central to truly personalized experiences. On-device AI puts you in control of your information and protects your privacy, while still delivering the power of personalization.”

If the robot apocalypse ever becomes a thing, Ballie would go from docile household companion to murderous assassin at the drop of a hat. For now, though, where do we sign up?

While the rest of us are living in the year 2020, PuduTech is living in the year 3020. That's because the catering-focused robotics company has developed BellaBot, a server robot with the personality of an anime feline. Per the BBC, it'll even meow at you upon arrival.

What else is there to say?

"BellaBot is the latest delivery robot product of PuduTech," reads the company's official description on YouTube. "It inherits the favorable [aspects] of its previous generation product ... such as the four layers large-sizes tray structure; rich delivery functions; highly precise positioning and navigating capacity; [and] stable and efficient scheduling system ... On the other hand, [it] shows breakthroughs in appearance design and man-machine interaction ... which make BellaBot a new type of 'cute but powerful' delivery robot that is popular in this field."