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Asus has just unveiled what’s likely to be the most talked about product at this week’s Computex trade show in Taipei, a cute talking robot for the home priced at $599. Called Zenbo, Asus pitched it as a personal assistant that can help look after elderly relatives or read stories to the kids, but that might be selling it a bit short. The robot is about two feet high and rolls around on wheels, with a display that can show its animated face or be used for other things like making video calls and streaming movies. Asus Chairman Jonney Shih demonstrated Zenbo at a press conference in Taipei Monday, giving it voice commands and asking it questions is it rolled around the stage. “Hey Zenbo, is it true you can take pictures”? he asked. “Yes, I can take photographs,” the robot replied. He told Zenbo to take his photo with the audience in the background. Shih positioned himself on stage and Zenbo trundled over and took his picture. It was an impressive demonstration, assuming the Zenbo wasn’t being remotely controlled somehow from backstage.
There was no word when Zenbo will go on sale and a spokesman said Asus doesn’t yet have a ship date. It wants developers to sign up for a software kit that will let them build applications for it. But Zenbo appears to be able to do quite a lot already. A big part of the pitch is caring for the elderly, which could be especially popular in nearby Japan, which is struggling with an aging population. Zenbo "helps to bridge the digital divide between generations" by allowing seniors to make video calls and use social networking with simple voice commands, Asus said. It can also connect to a smart bracelet and alert relatives via smartphone app if their elderly relative has a fall.
originally posted by: TheLaughingGod
a reply to: schuyler
That thing can't go out with the trash or do the dishes. I don't even think it's particularly effective at vacuuming either, it can't clear obstacles or move them out of the way if they present a problem.
Just a gimmick.. How can that look after elderly people?