Asus revealed on Monday an unexpected announcement, a home robot assistant priced at $599, the most affordable one in its category. The news took place at Asus’ Zenvolution press conference in Taipei, Taiwan.

The robot, named Zenbo, is a personal home assistant that can do from taking a family photo to asking for help when an elderly with a monitored bracelet falls. Zenbo can also look for recipes and read kids some bedtime stories, according to its introductory video.

Asus presents its home robot Zenbo
Asus introduced its new home robot assistant named Zenbo. It will cost $599. Credit: The Verge

Also, it can recognize faces, play games with kids and be controlled by voice commands. Zenbo’s screen shows a funny face that is as well a touch screen for a more direct management.

Asus Chairman Jonney Shih unveiled the two-feet high and on wheels robot at the press conference by giving it voice commands and asking it questions live in the scenario, as reported by PC World.

Shih even asked Zenbo to take a family-like photo with the people in the audience, to which Zenbo responded positively. After that, Shih positioned in the center of the stage, and the robot just took the picture. It is unknown whether the robot was being controlled from backstage.

The date of its public release was not revealed at the presentation. The device was just offered to developers interested in expanding the technology. Anyone interested in developing some specific functions can sign up for a developer’s kit at the official website, Shih said.

“For decades, humans have dreamed of owning such a companion: One that is smart, dear to our hearts, and always at our disposal,” Shih said. “Our ambition is to enable robotic computing for every household.”

Other advances

Among the announcements, the robot was not the only one to be presented by Asus on Monday. Other devices were the Zenbook 3 and some smartphones such as the ZenPhone 3 series and the Zenfone 3 Deluxe the premium smartphone model, as reported by ZDNet.

The Zenbook 3 is a laptop with a 12.5-inch display, an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of DDR3-2133MHz RAM, up to 1TB of SSD storage, as well as nine hours of battery, quad speakers, and a USB-C port.

Asus claimed that the laptop is 1.07 times faster than the Macbook Air and 1.5 faster than the Macbook. The Zenbook has two options related to pricing, the top-of-the-line 16GB/1TB version marks $2,000, and drops to $1,000 for the 4GB of RAM and 256GM of storage version.

For the smartphone category, the Zenphone 3 series is a whopping 6.8-inch device with a 4600mAh battery, a 23-megapixel camera, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor, Adreno 510 graphics, and up to 4GB of RAM. It is priced $479.

The Zenfone 3 Deluxe has a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 820 processor, an Adreno 530 GPU, a 23-megapixel camera, and packs up to 6GB of RAM. The phone marks $499 and can receive a charge of 60 percent in 39 minutes due to its USB-C.

Source: ZDNet