Would you let a ro­bot look af­ter your kids?

Lesotho Times - - Entertainment -

TAIPEI — As part of its huge Com­pu­tex prod­uct of­fen­sive, Tai­wanese tech gi­ant Asus on Tues­day took the wraps off Zenbo — an all-singing, all-danc­ing ro­bot that wants to be an in­te­gral part of your con­nected house­hold.

Zenbo wants to help grand­par­ents re­mem­ber to take their med­i­ca­tion and will call the emer­gency ser­vices if they may slip or fall and it also wants to lend a hand in the kitchen.

It can of­fer ac­cess to recipes, how-to videos and of course cap­ture for pos­ter­ity and so­cial me­dia pho­tos of the fin­ished dish. And when meal time is over Zenbo can get up and per­form to en­ter­tain the chil­dren while the plates are cleared away and even read them their bed­time story.

The brain­child of Asus’s chair­man Jon­ney Shih, Zenbo is be­ing pitched as an af­ford­able ro­botic com­puter for ev­ery family and one that can of­fer some­thing to ev­ery

family mem­ber. By giv­ing a web-en­abled com­puter a hu­manoid face, Asus be­lieves it can make tech­nol­ogy less daunt­ing for older con­sumers.

Rather than use a key­board and open a browser to search for in­for­ma­tion or en­ter­tain­ment, they can turn to Zenbo and ask ques­tions or give it com­mands in­stead. Zenbo can re­motely con­trol a host of smart home de­vices from TVS to lights, use its screen to show who’s at the front door and can au­to­mat­i­cally take care of the shop­ping by or­der­ing ev­ery­thing on­line.

How­ever, it’s the idea that Zenbo can ed­u­cate and en­ter­tain chil­dren via in­ter­ac­tive sto­ries, video lessons and au­to­mat­i­cally dim­ming the bed­room lights when it’s time for bed that might not be for ev­ery­one. No mat­ter how vast its li­brary of sto­ries and how well put to­gether its ed­u­ca­tional games, leav­ing small chil­dren with a ro­bot could end up giv­ing them night­mares.

Still, the de­mand for what is es­sen­tially a ro­bot but­ler is grow­ing and at US$599 (M9 437) Zenbo will cost less than an ipad Pro. — Afp/re­laxnews

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