We’ve already seen laptops and phones from Asus at this year’s Computex event, but it wouldn’t be a tech show without a curveball these days – and so enter the Zenbot, the friendly looking robot that Asus wants you to use to control your home.
Yes, it’s like Google Home or the Amazon Echo, except it walks and talks and has a few more social capabilities. From entertaining the kids to keeping elderly people company, it looks like an ambitious product from the Taiwanese company.
Zenbo can read out emails, calendar events and recipes, make video calls, order items off the web, stream media, interact with other parts of your smart home and much more – or at least that’s what the demo video suggests. Presumably developers are going to have to get on board to help Zenbo fulfil its potential.
The rise of the bots
The robot can play games or read out stories for kids, as well as alert you if an elderly relative is in trouble. Asus says it learns over time too, becoming better attuned to your preferences and lifestyle thanks to some integrated AI smarts.
Zenbo is also reminiscent of “social robot” Jibo, which first appeared on Indiegogo a couple of years ago. The platforms for all these functions are already in place, it’s just a matter of creating a device that can pull them all together.
Asus only just announced Zenbo so we’re waiting on some of the details, but a price of $599 has been mentioned (roughly £410 or AU$835). How long it’s going to be before you can order one of these friendly home robots remains to be seen.