ASUS Zenbo was the special guest of the Computex 2016, presented during the Zenvolution directly from ASUS chairman Jonney Shih and exposed for the entire length of the show on a stage set up at the stand of Taiwan. This domestic robot, inspired at least in appearance to E. T., can respond to voice commands, perform tasks, helping people (both children and the elderly) and control the home automation. Essentially, IoT is a station with a pinch of “artificial intelligence.”
We met him in one of our visits to the ASUS booth, and, taking advantage of a lull, we have “approached” and we had a chance to study it a few centimeters away. We were not allowed to touch it, but the video evidence above you will find an accurate description of its technical and aesthetic characteristics, with a lot of information about its capabilities. Do not miss it.
Zenbo can move autonomously thanks to its particular structure, based on four wheels (two front and two rear), enabling him sudden and jerky turns 360 degrees, chasing and helping the user in some daily activities such as start video calls, listen and make voice commands, remember appointments, reminders and other useful information. The proximity sensor, then, allow the robot also to avoid obstacles and move through easily. The screen plays a cute little face with big eyes and stylized lips, but the robot will interact with humans through the loudspeaker integrated in the “belly”. The camera will be used instead to recognize faces, take pictures and shoot video.
It also has a social function, direct in particular older people: the ASUS robot remembers when and which medications to take, but most importantly – combined with a smartband with accelerometer – recognize if someone is down and needs help, by sending a notification to your contacts – family and close friends – stored in its memory. Just a simple voice command to make the SOS call. It will also have a didactic purpose with the kids, because it knows to read fairy tales and has a long list of games and applications for learning. And ‘then outstanding as “guardian” of your smart home, because it controls the lights, appliances, thermostats, locks and security systems with voice commands.
At the heart of ASUS Zenbo there is an Intel processor, while still unknown operating system (perhaps a Linux distribution?) Runs everything. ASUS has launched a developer program in the hope that developers will help his robot to learn new things, focusing on software and third-party services. ASUS Zenbo costs $ 599 and is not that much considering the price of other social announced robots. Think about it, it costs less than one high-end smartphones.