The concept of “smart home” is bolstered (or shoved down our throat) by all the tech giants by introducing all different kind of personal home gadgets that can act as your personal chef, keep your home secure, replace a nanny, search for information online, play your favorite tunes, and learn over time through machine learning. Following all the unicorns including Samsung, Microsoft, Samsung, Amazon, Google, and Samsung, Asus is here to enroll itself in the race of companies promoting the concept of smart home, with its personal home robot – Asus Zenbo.
Asus chairman Jonnet Shih demonstrated Zenbo at Computex 2016, describing the robot butler as a smart home manager, your kitchen assistant, your security guard, your shopping assistant, and your personal photographer. Asus Zenbo is a tablet on wheels that could be described as an advanced Amazon Echo, which can also allow you to shop online, and works as your autonomous selfie stick.
Asus Zenbo Little Robot Butler
Whether you want it for your kids or your elderly family members, Zenbo provides a variety of features like narrating stories to your kids or notifying you when your family member needs a little help when they fall. It can also come handy to your teenager kids while shopping online or scrolling through their social media accounts. They can simply verbalize their login credentials and Zenbo will allow them to access their account. It is for anybody who wants a lesser cute version of BB-8 to be a part of their home. (Someone please come up with smart home assistant that resembles BB-8)
And here comes the most awkward part, the video: (I’m so sorry!)
Yeah, that was dorky! Well, the makers of this video enforces to somehow explain (or shall I say bombard?) all the features of the robot butler in the 11-minute video. Robot reciting the recipe (that’s all it can do to assist you in cooking), clicking pictures (but from limited angles), managing the home components (just TV, AC, lights, and door lock), playing and dancing to the tune (don’t expect anything more than tapping feet and moving head), and notifying people when someone falls (the most awkward part of the video) is all integrated in a clumsy manner. I’m not sure if the video concludes that Asus Zenbo is an amazing home robot, but it clearly concludes that their Wi-Fi connection is better than their acting skills. The video somehow desperately and deliberately tries to show (brag) all the so-called amazing things that their little smart home assistant can do for you.
The knee height robot will be available for a reasonable price of $599, but there is no solid reason to buy it. The robot does not provide any additional functionality that cannot be done with the help of your smartphone or some of the personal assistant apps. Or if you are a fan of the concept of smart home, there are several better alternatives available that you can buy to make your home smarter, but that may come with a higher price tag.