CES 2018: Kitty-Litter Cleaning Robots and Bean-Roasting Coffee Makers

Two things delineate the extremes of my life: cleaning out the kitty litter box and drinking coffee. Now, I don’t pretend to be a simple person. I’m as complex and confusing as anyone. But I can tell you that I absolutely abhor cleaning out the cat-poop box. It fills me with a level of disgust and distain that most people reserve for serial killers and mimes. On the other end of the spectrum is drinking coffee. Caffeine is my daily go-to drug of choice (one that doesn’t require a prescription, anyway), and drinking coffee is a much easier way of getting caffeine into my system than giving myself a coffee enema. (Yeah, it’s a thing, but I’ve never tried it; nor do I recommend it.) So you can understand why I lingered longingly at several booths I came across during my time at CES 2018 (while the power was on).

For starters, anything with the name “Litter-Robot” is something I want—even before seeing it. But after stopping at the Litter-Robot booth and thoroughly scouring the company’s website, I’m convinced that the Litter-Robot III Open Air is God’s gift to cat owners everywhere. The company also has the creme de la creme of smart cat-litter cleaner-uppers: the Litter-Robot III Open Air with Connect. Yes, it tells you when the kitty litter bag is full of kitty poop and can also give you real-time status updates via your smartphone. (I’m not sure I can live without knowing exactly when my cats are pooping.)

Since life as a writer isn’t the most lucrative of professions (I know, surprising isn’t it?), I ordered a refurbished Litter-Robot Open Air III without the Connect module (although it is available as an add-on). It hasn’t arrived yet, but I’ll keep you posted in the future on the status of when my cats are pooping.

I spent a week in Italy prior to heading out west to Las Vegas for the annual tech shindig. I loved coffee before I left the US; but, after visiting friends in Italy, I now am a total "un caffe" addict. So I was torn between wanting coolness or awesomeness when I discovered two totally different coffee makers in the bowels of the Sands Expo and Convention Center.

First there was the coolness of the Barisieur Tea & Coffee Brewing Alarm Clock, which is “a premium alarm clock that eases you into your morning with the soothing sounds of bubbling water along with the smell of freshly brewed coffee or loose leaf tea.” Really, what could be better than having an alarm clock that wakes you up with the smell of coffee brewing rather than an annoying buzzing sound? Well, how about a coffee maker that starts with fresh, green coffee beans, roasts the beans, grinds them, and then uses the newly roasted-and-ground beans to brew the freshest coffee you’ve ever tasted in your life?

That’s what the Bonaverde Berlin Roast-Grind-Brew promises to bring into your life. Bonaverde calls it “From Crop to Cup”, and it takes about 15 minutes for the entire process. (If you can’t wait that long in the morning, you can pre-roast the beans and then wait an excruciatingly long five minutes for the grind and brew process to finish.) Fortunately, the Bonaverde says that the Berlin’s “Integrated 3G IoT connection provided by T-Mobile (at no cost to the user) means you have control without paying extra for connectivity.” I sampled a tiny cup of coffee brewed by the Bonaverde Berlin at the company’s booth, and it was exquisite—although, to be honest, any coffee at that point in the afternoon would have probably tasted delicious. Bonaverde has offered to send a sample machine to review, so I’ll let you know what it tastes like after I’ve gone through the entire process of "crop to cup".

Yep, from kitty litter to coffee—that’s the extent of my life’s emotional range. At least I’m not using kitty litter to brew coffee…

brenro's picture

Freshly roasted coffee needs a bare minimum of 12 hours to degas with most varieties benefiting from an even longer time so I'm curious how this machine gets around that.

Traveler's picture

I love how every thing with a moving part gets labeled a "robot".