There has been a recent increase in efforts to develop intelligent robotics for Japanese consumers, with examples Softbank Pepper and Sharp Robohon released in the market. At the same time, Taiwan’s Asus has also decided to step up their game and have just released their home caretaker, Zenbo, at the 2016 Computex conference. Zenbo’s round, white and small shape quickly reminds one of the iMac G4. Taking advantage of a rolling system, the robot can be instructed to move with the user, and can converse in a normal dialogue, as well as instantly display various kinds of information about connected home appliances. Zenbo can also show different expressions based on the situation, and auto-play appropriate soothing music, making it a design which is very “humane”.
Asus emphasizes the robot’s advantage for elderly users. By focusing on elderly care, Zenbo can provide healthcare related information, such as reminders about medical services or other important notes. Should an elderly individual fall or have abnormal reactions, Zenbo will send alert notifications to a family member’s phone, and turn on its camcorder to confirm the situation, perhaps the most valuable aid for the modern aging society. Last but not least, the Asus has announced that they have already started the free developer program for Zenbo SDK, so the public can create more personal related apps for the robot, thus fostering the discovery of different ideas. Zendo’s most pleasant surprise is that the product is priced at only USD $599, demonstrating Asus’s determination to enter the consumer home marketplace.