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The Latest: What robot strippers say about sexism and tech

January 11, 2018

A pole-dancing robot built by British artist Giles Walker performs at a gentlemen's club Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, in Las Vegas. The event was held to coincide with CES International. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Latest on the CES technology show in Las Vegas (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

Two robot strippers that made an appearance at a strip club in Las Vegas during the CES technology show have raised questions about gender diversity in the tech industry.

While it was a classic Vegas stunt to draw in gawkers from the world’s largest tech convention, their appearance struck a nerve among women who’ve been speaking up against sexual harassment and for greater participation in the tech industry.

CES organizers say only about 20 percent of this year’s attendees were women, along with just two of the 15 keynote speakers.

Organizers said the show had no affiliation with the strip club or the robots and have promised to redouble efforts to add women’s voices to the speaker lineup next year.

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1 p.m.

It’s a battle of the breast pumps at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas.

One model, Willow, is set to hit the market later this year as the only wearable pump not attached to tubes, cords or bottles. But founders of rival Freemie pitch theirs as a more practical, hospital-grade alternative, despite having to plug it in. It’s already on the market and heading to Babies R Us stores.

The two hands-free pumps vied for attention in a “baby tech” showcase. It also features an internet-connected baby bottle for tracking feedings and new inventions for predicting ovulation.

It’s the third time CES has hosted a baby-focused area on its show floors, reflecting growing investment in tech innovations for parenting, pregnancy and women’s health.

Fitness technology is making a big splash at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Products that keep track of blood pressure, glucose and sleep patterns are among the many innovations on display. (Jan. 10)

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12:15 p.m.

Alexa, flush.

Kohler’s new toilet can be controlled by voice, with Amazon’s Alexa assistant. It also boasts a lid that automatically opens as you approach, along with a heated seat and a touch-screen remote. Users can use it to play music with its built-in speakers and change the color of its nightlight.

Why would anyone want a smart toilet? Eric Plate from Kohler says it’s all about the personalization — getting the temperature and other settings just right for your comfort.

The Numi toilet sells for $7,500 and is on display at the CES tech show in Las Vegas this week.

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10 a.m.

Trying to distinguish your product among the thousands at the CES gadget show is no easy feat, so it helps when music legend Stevie Wonder pays an unexpected visit.

Especially when your product is a “smart” piano designed to teach people how to play.

Piano teacher Gabie Perry was demonstrating the internet-connected device, made by a California startup, when someone told her that Wonder asked to try it. She thought it was a joke.

Wonder spent about 15 minutes playing tunes as a crowd gathered at The One Music Group’s CES booth in Las Vegas. Wonder says he likes to visit the conference to “see new things” and meet people. He’s among several celebrity musicians attending, including rapper Iggy Azalea and Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry.

CES runs through Friday.

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