Sensors Expo Day 1: IoT, Wearables and the Cutest Robot

Mayfield Robotics' home robot, Kuri, scoots around the Sensors Expo & Conference.

Day one of Sensors Expo & Conference 2017 kicked off Tuesday in San Jose, Calif., with five pre-conference symposiums on topics ranging from wearable technology—including sensors made from specialized thread—to the rapidly developing Internet of Things ecosystem.

"IoT is not just a vision, it is not just a future, but it is here. It is now," Maciej Kranz, vice president for corporate strategic innovation at Cisco, said in an opening keynote. Most people, he said, think of IoT as a consumer technology to connect refrigerators, washing machines and toasters. Instead, he said, "IoT today is happening mainly in industrial and B2B environments." 

Several afternoon sessions focused on sensors created by weaving conductive threads into patterns on clothing or other functional fabrics.

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Perhaps the most adorable moment at Sensors Expo Tuesday came when Ben Kearns of Mayfield Robotics showed off Kuri, the company’s personality-packed home robot. Designed with a Pixar-like playfulness, Kuri uses a collection of sensors and a neural network to recognize people and pets, respond to commands and learn the layout of your home.

The expo lasts through Thursday at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose.