Earlier this year, Asus announced Zenbo, its new home companion robot, designed to follow you around your home and interact with you, offering reminders, answering questions, and providing voice controls for media and smart home functions. While Zenbo clearly has a less than human form, Asus has anthropomorphized it to some extent, giving it a friendly - or creepy; YMMV - face on its touchscreen, along with a child-like voice.
Today, Asus announced that Zenbo will go on sale in the company's home market of Taiwan on January 1, although stock will be limited at first. The device, which is powered by Intel, will come in two configurations:
- A standard package with 32GB storage, priced at $19,900 TWD (around $620 USD)
- A higher-end model with 128GB storage and a self-charging dock, priced at $24,900 TWD (roughly $780 USD)
Zenbo offers a wide range of functions, some of which were highlighted at Asus' local launch event today. As Engadget reports, a few had previously been revealed, but there are some new additions too.
- New voice commands for services such as ordering food, booking a car, online shopping, gaming, and more
- New child-friendly features, including games and story-telling, along with simple tools to let kids as young as five years old program Zenbo's movements with basic logic
- Remote assistance and tech support
- Home surveillance
- Human fall-detection in conjunction with the Asus ZenWatch 3
- Emergency video call functionality, enabling users to quickly contact emergency services, allowing officials to visually assess the situation
Asus hasn't yet announced plans to offer Zenbo internationally. For now, if you're not in Taiwan, you can get to know more about Zenbo in the video below: