Many creative products have already been unveiled at this week’s Computex trade show in Taipei, but Asus’s creation might have stolen the show with its cute talking robot for the home.
Marketed at US$599, Zenbo was pitched as a personal assistant that can assist in looking after elderly relatives or reading stories to the kids. But that’s not by far all that the small robot can do.
It measures about two feet in height and has wheels for moving around; it has also been fitted with a display that can either show its animated face or be used for other interactions, such as streaming movies or making video calls.
Zenbo was part of a demonstration by Asus Chairman Jonney Shih who showed it off at a press conference in Taipei on Monday. As the cute talking robot was rolling around the stage, Shih was asking it questions and giving it voice commands.
“Hey Zenbo, is it true you can take pictures?” he asked. “Yes, I can take photographs,” the robot answered. Then, he asked Zenbo to take a photo of him with the audience in the background, and Zenbo rolled over and took his picture.
Assuming that the Zenbo was not controlled remotely from backstage, the demonstration was rather impressive. Asus did not reveal when the robot will go on sale and, according to a spokesman, there is not ship date just yet.
Asus’s plan is to encourage developers to sign up for a software kit that will allow them to build more applications for it.
But Zenbo is already much more than capable already. Seeing that a major part of the pitch was its function of caring for the elderly, Zenbo could be especially needed in nearby Japan, where the aging population is increasing drastically.
With just a few simple commands, the robot can assist seniors in communicating with their relatives via video calls or social networking; in this respect, Zenbo “helps to bridge the digital divide between generations.”
Even though it’s not completely innovative, the impressive part is that Asus will be able to offer those capabilities for the price of a PC. Shih said that the company’s ambition “is to enable robotic computing for every household.”
Image Source: Tech Ink