It’s my dream to have a robot roommate, and today at Computex 2016 ASUS announced Zenbo, the home robot. ASUS chairman Jonney Shih outlines their vision: “Our ambition is to enable robotic computing for every household,” and I can’t agree more!
Zenbo’s main goals of “assistance, entertainment and companionship,” is in part aimed partially named at aimed at older people, but the truth is Zenbo has a place in everyone’s heart. ASUS has a great video outlining what he can do and emotionalizes his relationship with the entire family. A story teller, giver of gentle reminders, order’er of everything on the internet, coordinator of outfits, recipe reading assistant and the center of all your home’s controls. Connecting with all smart devices Zenbo controlled the lights of the humble house on command. Imagine being able to do things like being able to check who’s at the door from a connected camera, remote-unlock the door from the robot’s or turning on you TVs or air conditioners. Think of Zenbo as your Smart Home Hub.
ASUS is notorious for showing products well before they are ready for release and in the video Zenbo coordinated a family in multiple locations for a family photo. Ambitious, yes. Unrealistic, we hope not! Robots, AI and assisted living are a hot topic with baby boomers reaching the age where additional care is needed. Bridge devices like Zenbo will give family’s peace of mind being able to have open lines of communication with their loved ones. Zenbo, through a wrist worn mystery device that detected that Grandpa was falling over, sent an emergency messages to family members when he fell down. For kids, the robot will be able to dance along to music and read stories aloud from its built-in library.
If you’re wondering where all of this content is coming from ASUS is promoting a Zenbo developer program, with access to the bot’s SDK and more information to help birth apps. If the robot is going to be a success it’s clear that a community that will create different use cases and a allow for a level of customization that will be necessary for adoption, especially since Zenbo is going to be my next roommate.
I’ll be honest, I did have a day dream about Zenbo moving i. All that computing power could be put to good use while I was out and he could assess the level of organization of my things and perhaps even greet me with some suggestions for how my life could be better. Better yet, maybe he’s just grow some robot arms do it and take my dogs for a walk!
Starting at $599 I might even get 2 of them so they could talk to each other and devise plans for making my home a more magical place!
We shot the rest of the press event where Jonney Shih presents our pint size friend, it’s worth a watch for his dance moves alone!