Asustek eyes home ro­bots for el­derly, kids

The China Post - - BUSINESS -

Asustek Com­puter Inc. of­fered a hint Fri­day about the Tai­wanese PC maker’s devel­op­ment of voiceen­abled ro­bots that can take care of el­derly peo­ple and serve as an ed­u­ca­tional tool for chil­dren.

Speak­ing at an an­nual meet­ing with gen­eral share­hold­ers, Asustek Chair­man Jon­ney Shih said his com­pany is pay­ing close at­ten­tion to the in­dus­try dy­nam­ics and is look­ing to de­velop new tech­nolo­gies.

One of the emerg­ing sec­tors that Asustek is watch­ing closely is smart ro­bots, which Shih said would be in­te­grated with cloud com­put­ing tech­nol­ogy in the fu­ture to pro­vide ser­vices to the el­derly upon voice com­mands.

Such smart ro­bots could also serve as tools for chil­dren, be­cause it could im­part knowl­edge to chil­dren and help them un­der­stand and deal with their emo­tions, Shih added.

He de­clined to give fur­ther de­tails of Asustek’s smart robot devel­op­ment, say­ing only that the sec­tor needs a lot of “de­sign think­ing” and eval­u­a­tion of costs.

Asustek is look­ing to new busi- ness op­por­tu­ni­ties in mo­bile de­vices and the In­ter­net of Things — the con­cept of con­nect­ing or­di­nary house­hold de­vices to the In­ter­net — be­yond the stag­nant PC in­dus­try, which has suf­fered a con­tin­u­ous re­ces­sion for over three years.

In 2014, Asustek’s con­sol­i­dated rev­enue in­creased by 3 per­cent to NT$477.4 bil­lion (US$15.42 bil­lion), but its net in­come dropped by 9 per­cent to NT$19.47 bil­lion, which the com­pany said was mainly due to the high non­op­er­at­ing rev­enue gained from stock dis­posal in 2013.

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