Asus is showcasing a cute little robot which it has named Zenbo at the Computex 2016 event.
The Taiwan-based company is projecting the Zenbo as a companion robot that can make its way around the house and carry out a variety of simple tasks that otherwise would require human intervention.
Asus Zenbo’s job profile includes reading out stories (with several voice options) to the kids, controlling the home interior lighting, or reminding seniors of any appointment they might have set and so on. Zenbo is also smart enough to identify family members depending on their voice and determine who’s who from a group. Zenbo will also notify members if anyone needs assistance. The SOS message to this effect will be sent out to their smartphones, irrespective of their location.
The members in turn also have the facility to check remotely out what’s wrong by moving Zenbo closer to the scene of action and using the robot’s integrated cameras that can be operated via their smartphones. Such a feature makes the Zenbo an ideal device for those households that have elderly citizens at home. Not only will the Zenbo give them company and perform simple tasks, but it will also keep a watch on them and notify other members if the situation so warrants.
The robot is also programmed to respond to the ‘Hey Zenbo’ phrase and works much like a voice controlled tablet or a smartphone. As such, it can play out recipes or other video requests, besides carrying out search requests and so on.
“For decades, humans have dreamed of owning such a companion: One that is smart, dear to our hearts, and always at our disposal,” said ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih. “Our ambition is to enable robotic computing for every household.”
Zenbo also has the potential to interface with other smart home automation system, thereby providing users a mobile unit to carry out a variety of tasks. However, that would require the active participation of the third party manufacturers and developers and it’s not clear at the moment how, when or if at all, Asus wishes to embark on such a makeover for the Zenbo.
Asus Zenbo costs $599. However, the availability is anybody’s guess now.
Apart from Zenbo, Asus has the usual mix of tablets, smartphones, two-in-ones along with the ‘thinner and lighter than MacBook’ ZenBook 3 to show off at Computex 2016.