Personal home robots are the hot new thing right now. Everything from robots that protect your home to those that act as personal chefs are being developed, and simultaneously, a number of companies are advancing technology to build the new “smart home.”
Now, ASUS is getting in on the action and bringing the two together, announcing its new Zenbo at Computex Taipei 2016.
The robot, announced by ASUS chairman Jonney Shih, offers some of the typical features of homebots: assistance, entertainment, and companionship—this last aimed especially at the elderly. But the exciting new feature of Zenbo is its integration with traditional and smart home devices. It’s essentially a smartphone or tablet on wheels, with the ability to move autonomously and interact with its owner on an entirely new level.
You’ll be able to check who’s at the door from a connected camera, and then remote unlock the door from the robot’s touchscreen face. Zenbo will also be able to connect to lights, TVs and air conditioners.
Other features include spoken reminders to its owners, the ability to send emergency messages to family members if someone falls down—you can even take control of the robot and check the situation from Zenbo’s built-in camera. The robot will also be able to dance along to music as well as read stories aloud from its built-in library—for the kids, of course.
But the real kicker—Zenbo’s $599 price tag.