Imagine an assistant that followed you around the house, talking to you, controlling various aspects of your home and providing assistance wherever needed, at the price of a smartphone. Introducing the Asus Zenbo, a tiny robot that rolls around on what looks like a vacuum cleaner, has a colour touchscreen and cameras protruding from its body.
Asus is touting the Zenbo as a robotic helper that can provide “assistance, entertainment and companionship”. The Zenbo can move freely and independently and respond to voice commands, making it quite a capable companion for the children and the elderly. The robot is also able to speak to you (in a manner of speaking), whether it be to remind you of daily tasks or recite stories to the young ones.
Users will also be able to enjoy music anywhere in the house, thanks to the Zenbo’s built-in speakers and will be able to express a range of emotions thanks to its display. The inbuilt camera allows the robot to recognise faces, take photos and videos, and make video calls. It even lets users monitor their home remotely.
In essence, the Asus Zenbo is a mobile version of the Google Home or the Amazon Echo. The robot can even take control of certain functions around the house – from thermostats to smart TVs and other internet of things devices.
The Zenbo will be available for $599 (Dh2,200, which is what most consumers pay for smartphones these days) when it goes on sale. The date for the launch hasn’t been announced yet.