The Real Star of the Mercedes-Benz Keynote at CES Was This Little Robot

Its name is Cambot. It represents approachable technology. What about adorable, even huggable? Well, watch it for yourself and you'll see.

mercedes benz cambot white robot
Credit: Image: Melissa Riofrio
Just the cutest little robot you've ever seen!

LAS VEGAS—It was basically a big, blue eye on three wheels, but gosh it was cute, in an…optical kind of way. It was Cambot, this little robot that was kind of like Dieter Zetsche’s sidekick as the Mercedes-Benz CEO introduced the F015 of self-driving concept car at CES.

The little robot had a purpose: To embody nice machinery. “Customer gain trust based on positive experience with assistance systems,” Zetche said—technology that people could enjoy or even love. Just watch this little guy roll around the stage. You want to hug him. I know you do.

mercedes benz cambot white robot cartoon
Credit: Image: Melissa Riofrio
Robots kvetch, Cambot awakens

Mercedes-Benz opened its CES 2015 keynote with a humorous exchange between two cartoon robots: A big, brawny, Transformer-like robot with a Mercedes-Benz logo on its front, um, grille, and a little, white, kvetchy robot that looked like a modified stovepipe.

The big robot said humans were warm and fuzzy. The little robot complained that they never read the manual. See on the left: There's Cambot waking up as a door opens...

mercedes benz cambot white robot seeing dieter zetsche
Credit: Image: Melissa Riofrio
Meet your new pal, Dieter

That's Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche coming through the door to retrieve Cambot. As you can tell from the blue, curved lines around the image, this is "Cambot View," through that huge eye.

As Zatsche leaves with Cambot, the little white robot slaps his forehead and moans, "he forgot the manual!"

mercedes benz cambot white robot debut dieter zetsche
Credit: Image: Melissa Riofrio
Meet Cambot! In the, um, white plastic

Cambot rolls out on stage with Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche. You can see a rear view of Cambot's adorable, round head in the screen above the stage. 

mercedes benz cambot white robot dieter zetsche 1
Credit: Image: Melissa Riofrio
Bro-mance? Bot-mance?

As Cambot stands next to his new buddy Dieter Zetsche and scans the crowd, you can see the Cambot view at above left.

mercedes benz cambot white robot looking into f015
Credit: Image: Melissa Riofrio
Cambot's first look inside the F015

Cambot just has to check out the new F015 self-driving concept car. He gazes into the futuristic cockpit as "Cambot View" plays overhead. 

mercedes benz cambot white robot camera view
Credit: Image: Melissa Riofrio
Cambot's View of the F015

Here's a detail of the F015 "Cambot view." (Who decided white upholstery was a good idea for a car? Is it self-cleaning, too?)

mercedes benz cambot white robot dieter zetsche f015
Credit: Image: Melissa Riofrio
Bro-bot-mance?

As the presentation closes, Cambot looks adoringly at his new pal Dieter, clearly agreeing that humans are warm and fuzzy, and more interesting than some silly old concept car.