ASUS today announced at a press event in Taipei that the Mandarin edition of Zenbo — the first ASUS robot designed to provide assistance, entertainment, and companionship to families — will be available for pre-order in Taiwan from 1st January, 2017. The press event opened with a chorus of 10 Zenbo robots performing onstage, singing holiday songs for the audience.
Following the performance, ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih introduced Zenbo’s features and shared his vision of enabling robotic computing for every household. “For decades, humans have dreamed of owning such a companion: one that is smart, dear to our hearts, and always at our disposal,” said Chairman Shih. “Our ambition is to enable robotic computing for every household.”
Chairman Shih also announced that developers and partners from various industries in Taiwan — including those in the education, transportation, e-commerce, entertainment, and cleaning sectors — have partnered with ASUS to extend and enrich the Zenbo experience through dedicated apps and capabilities.
A special collaboration with the National Police Agency of Taiwan resulted in the development of an app for Zenbo that enables families to contact their local police department in an emergency and speak with an officer using Zenbo’s built-in video calling feature. Director-General, National Police Agency, Ministry of the Interior, Republic of China (Taiwan), Kuo‑En Chen, joined Chairman Shih onstage for a live demo of the application.
Intel Corporation’s Vice President of the New Technology Group and General Manager of the Perceptual Computing Group, Achin Bhowmik, also joined Chairman Shih onstage. “For nearly thirty years, Intel and ASUS have been collaborating to bring some of the most leading innovations in PCs and devices to market,” said Dr. Bhowmik. “We are excited to continue that collaboration on Zenbo, and we look forward to continue working with ASUS on enabling intelligent and interactive devices with Intel RealSense technology.”
ASUS Zenbo is a friendly and capable home robot designed to provide assistance, entertainment, and companionship to families and meant to address the needs of each family member in this ubiquitous computing era.
Zenbo is designed for everyone, but he has specific functionality that helps senior family members safeguard their health and well-being as well as enjoy a connected digital life. Zenbo monitors the home for emergency situations — such as falls — and immediately responds to them by notifying specified family members on their smartphones, no matter where they are. When they receive an emergency notification, family members can remotely control Zenbo to move nearby and use his built-in camera to visually check on their loved one. Zenbo is also a friendly companion who helps to bridge the digital divide between generations by making it easy to accomplish a variety of online tasks — including making video calls, using social media, shopping, and streaming movies and TV shows — using voice commands and guided help.
Zenbo is a fun and educational playmate for kids who entertains them with interactive stories and learning games that foster their creativity and logical thinking skills. With his high-quality, built-in stereo sound system, Zenbo can play children’s favorite songs and even dance along to the music, making for fun playtime activity. Zenbo is also an expert storyteller who keeps children entertained during the day and helps them fall asleep at night. Zenbo includes a built-in library of stories that he tells in a variety of entertaining voices, while displaying accompanying images on his screen and controlling the room lighting to add a new level of interactivity and fun to story time. Zenbo also comes with educational games and an interactive encyclopedia that make learning fun.
In addition to working with seniors and kids, Zenbo is also a hands-free household helper who enriches the home with a broad range of skills that make life easier and more enjoyable. Zenbo can connect to and control many smart-home and traditional devices, including lights, TVs, air conditioners, and more. Homeowners can even use Zenbo’s built-in screen to view visitors at the door and then unlock it with a simple voice command. He can also help out in the kitchen, reading recipes out loud and functioning as a voice-controlled timer, so home chefs can stay focused on cooking. With his built-in camera and ability to move around the house, Zenbo is a great family photographer who helps preserve special and everyday moments alike. When homeowners are away, Zenbo provides peace of mind that their home is safe by acting as a remote-controlled home security camera that is accessible from anywhere via an intuitive smartphone app.
ASUS uses an Intel® processor and Intel RealSense™ technology, enabling Zenbo’s interaction with people for a more natural and intuitive experience. Zenbo supports a growing number of custom apps that expand his capabilities and bring new features to users. The free Zenbo Developer Program provides members with access to the Zenbo SDK and a library of information they need to bring their creative ideas to life. Additionally, Zenbo Partners can work with ASUS to help build a rich, robotic ecosystem that will enhance Zenbo and enrich users’ lives.