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Asus Unveils Walking, Talking Robot For The Smart Home: Meet ZenBo [Video]

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Have any of Blade Runner’s predictions come true?

Asus showcased an unusual device for its traditional lineup in the form of a home robot that sports many interesting features.

The chairman of the company, Jonney Shih, explains why Asus chose to develop the home assistant dubbed ZenBo.

“Our ambition is to enable robotic computing for every household,” he notes.

The manufacturer targets the senior and youngster demographic, to whom it can offer “assistance, entertainment and companionship.”

A welcome feature is that the robot will be able to connect to smart home devices. Via a connected camera, you can check out who rang the doorbell and unlock the door using the robot’s touchscreen (read: face).

A myriad of devices ranging from smart light bulbs to air conditioners, thermostats and TVs can be activated via ZenBo, provided that it uses the right language.

The robot can move around the house on its own and even respond to directions given via voice command. The touchpad interface allows it to do what you expect: engage in video calls, go on binge shopping online, stream video content, and more.

Asus also wants to gift the gadget with the capability to use voice reminders. This could come particularly in handy for the elderly, who sometimes forget to take their medication or find it hard to keep track of their doctor’s appointments.

ZenBo will have the ability to notify family members if someone falls down, and the integrated camera in the robot will allow you to check the situation in real time.

The manufacturer touts that children will be able to see the robot dance, or have a bedtime story read to them in a warm, robotic voice.

Asus says that it acknowledges the importance of opening up its program to developers worldwide and, for that to happen, it prepares an SDK that will allow coders to create apps for ZenBo.

Gadget enthusiasts will see a bit of similarity between Asus’s robot and the home assisting robot Pepper, built by Softbank. Check out our coverage to see what Pepper is able to do.

ZenBo is as tall as an average adult’s knee, and its peculiar voice could contribute to the success of the gadget. The company proposes a $599 price for the ZenBo, but only time will tell if the price is right.

Asus released a video showcasing ZenBo’s abilities, and you can watch it below.

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