More than two years ago, ASUS introduced the world to its home companion robot, Zenbo. The company is following up on that initiative this year with a successor that is both a little smarter and a little smaller.
The Zenbo Junior comes in a much smaller form factor compared to the original, and weighs only about a fifth of the original's weight. It's also approximately half the size of the Zenbo.
Zenbo Junior boasts an impressive array of sensors to power its AI capabilities, including a line sensor, drop IR sensor, capacitive touch sensor, colour-infrared (CIR), and a sonar sensor. In the brief demo ASUS showed off, the robot was smart enough to detect when it was nearing the edge of the table or was about to collide with another Zenbo and change course to avoid a mishap. To further interact with its surroundings, Zenbo Junior has a 13MP camera and an array of four microphones to be able to listen to voice commands.
ASUS has also been working on expanding Zenbo's functionality as a platform, with a new management console that allows you to wirelessly manage and configure multiple Zenbo Juniors at the same time.
The company is touting Zenbo Junior as a potentially game-changing platform for the education and enterprise markets. Pricing and availability have not yet been revealed, however.