Zenbo home robot to ring in new year in Taiwan

(Tech Xplore)—Look what's on pre-order—in Taiwan. The company will begin selling limited quantities of the home robot Zenbo in Taiwan starting January 1st.

Starting from Jan 1 it is set at two prices, for NT$19,900 (32G) and NT$24,900 (128G), respectively.

This is called the Mandarin edition and the home robot takes on the multi-faceted role of helper, entertainer and companion.

Zenbo, made its introductions, to the media in Taipei this week and delivered a performance where 10 Zenbo robots sang a seasonal song and demonstrated its functions.

George Liao, Taiwan News, reported on the press event.

He said ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih announced that developers and partners from various industries in Taiwan, including education, transportation, e-commerce, entertainment, and cleaning sectors, have partnered with ASUS. The effort was toward extending the Zenbo experience through dedicated apps and capabilities.

More Taiwan news about Zenbo: A collaboration with the National Police Agency (NPA) of Taiwan resulted in an app for Zenbo where a video calling feature lets families in emergencies contact their local police departments and speak with an officer. There was a live demo of the app.

As for seniors, a smartphone notification from Zenbo can alert family members away from home that there has been an incident such as a fall.

Richard Lai, Engadget, also reported on the Zenbo. "Other additions made to the Zenbo's voice-controlled feature list mainly surround local services, including food delivery, taxi or van booking, online shopping, banking, medicine prescription, music streaming, house cleaning, gaming and more, but we'll have to wait and see how far voice commands will take us for these."

The 's appeal to children was not ignored; in fact, there is a "Blockly-based programming suite," reported Lai, "that will let children as young as five years old use basic logic to automate a Zenbo's movements."

Simple games and story telling are for younger children.

"In addition to working with seniors and kids, Zenbo is also a hands-free household helper who can connect to and control many smart-home and traditional devices, including lights, TVs, air conditioners, and more," said Telecompaper.

Asus uses an Intel processor and Intel RealSense technology, said Telecompaper.

Intel Corporation's Vice President of the New Technology Group and General Manager of the Perceptual Computing Group, Achin Bhowmik, was at the event. He said, "we look forward to continue working with ASUS on enabling intelligent and interactive devices with Intel RealSense technology."

Zenbo supports a growing number of custom apps. Also, there is a free Zenbo Developer Program providing members with access to the Zenbo SDK and a library of information.

Explore further: Zenbo as your next household helper? Watchers say the price is right

More information: zenbo.asus.com/

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