Meet the Newest Home Assistant: Zenbo the Robot

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Welcome to the future – where robots exists! There have been several AI-types of devices released over the years, and now Asus has introduced us to the member of the robot family: Zenbo.

This new product was introduced with a showcase at a recent technology event, and there are several features that people are excited about. Mostly, this device is targeted to two specific markets: the elderly and the youth. Here’s a breakdown of what we know about this new robot:

  • Cost: It won’t cost you any more than that top-tier smartphone that you replace on an annual or bi-annual basis; about $600 give or take.
  • Connected: Zenbo will be able to connect to your other smart home devices.
  • Hub: Through those connection, Zenbo can act as your all-in-one hub, showing you who rang your video doorbell and even unlocking your smart locks. He’ll also be able to do a lot of the things that the Amazon Echo and other hubs can do, including controlling thermostats, light bulbs, and entertainment centers.
  • Mobile: Zenbo will be able to navigate your house. You can even tell it where to move with commands, like telling it to turn right or left.
  • Touchpad Interface: The touchpad interface will allow for a lot of activity, including video calling and shopping. You and also stream using the interface.
  • Talking: Zenbo will be able to talk, including using its speaker and voice to give verbal reminders. The thought behind this is that it can remind elderly owners to take their daily medications and to keep their medical appointments.
  • Notifications: Zenbo touts the ability to send notifications to a programmed contact if there is an emergency, like if an elderly or sick parent falls down, which could be useful for a lot of people.
  • Real Time Video: With the ability to monitor with real time video, Zenbo owners can check in on their parents, kids, and babysitters.
  • Entertainment: Zenbo is full of fun features also. It will be able to read bedtime stories to children to help them sleep (Asus claims the robot voice is warm and welcoming but I’m not so sure). The robot will also be able to make children smile and laugh with dancing.
  • Height: The robot will be about the height of an average adult’s knee.
  • Camera: The camera can not only support video, but it can also take photos.

The look of Zenbo is pretty much what I would expect. It has a small round body and a “head” which is actually its interface. The head, when not showing information or streaming video, can be defaulted to look like a robot face, with eyes and a mouth.

What I do like is that Asus has announced that they will open the Zenbo programming to developers. It will be interesting to see what types of apps are made, and how they affect the robot’s abilities and usefulness.

Check out the video that Asus released about Zenbo:

What do you think of this newest AI technology? Would you get one?

Photo by: Zenbo

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Jeff is a tinkerer. He loves gadgets, but usually waits until the reviews are out before buying something. He loves the DIY projects, and loves help setting things up too. Some of his favorite products and services may not be the most well known, but he loves his custom solution.

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