Asus may be best known as the maker of laptops and phones, but on Monday it unveiled a fairly low-cost robot that can help with healthcare and controlling the smart home. (Also, it unveiled new laptops and phones.)
The Zenbo robot, which will cost $599, will be able to understand spoken commands and roll around on its own. It’s supposed to help remind people of things like their doctor’s appointments and medication and exercise schedules, while also keeping a virtual eye out for emergencies.
The robot looks like a cross between ET and the popular Star Wars robot BB-8. In a video demonstration of Zenbo’s capabilities, an older gentleman is seen falling over at home, prompting the robot to call his relatives and show them the scene using its camera (don’t worry; the grandfather is fine).
Zenbo can also connect to smart-home components such as lights, door locks and security cameras, read out recipes, and entertain kids with interactive stories and songs. In short, it’s a giant, semi-autonomous mobile device with (judging by that video) a rather cloying voice.
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SOURCE: Fortune, David Meyer