Computex 2016 has kicked off in Taiwan and who better to kick the show off than Taiwanese company ASUS? Throughout the week, companies will deliver keynotes and show off advances in consumer technology. A recurring theme from most of the companies showing off their new devices is virtual reality, but another subject is coming up quite a lot; home robots. 

EIT Stock Image Credit: The Guardian

ASUS has unveiled Zenbo , their answer to the home robot. A potbellied, two wheeler, vacuum-like robot with a head that juts outwards with a screen for a face. It will cost $599. ASUS chairman, Jonney 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. Our ambition is to enable robotic computing for every household.”

What will this robot assist with in the house? Obviously not coffee making. But its other uses include:

  • Being a fun and educational playmate for children 
  • It can assist the elderly with keeping up to date with meetings they may have or things they need to remember 
  • It can take photos 
  • “I am a robot of many talents, I can sing and dance,” Zenbo said. 
  • Can assist you with tasks around the house
  • It can even turn on your lights and turn your TV off 

Here is the very strange video from ASUS that shows why exactly you might need the Zenbo robot. It’s a mini-movie but it’s worth seeing what kind of uses this little robot might have: 

How many minutes did you manage to watch? 


SoftBank, the company behind the Pepper robot that a host of companies are wanting to partner with, has added a strange line to their user agreement. “The policy owner must not perform any sexual act on the robot or engage in other indecent behaviour.” The warning is probably necessary.

The Pepper robot will also support the Android operating system now that the SDK (Software Developer Kit) has been released. You can obtain the SDK from the Pepper Partnership Program so you can get started on developing apps for Pepper. 

Nonetheless, Pizza Hut has also ordered themselves a Pepper robot that will be taking food orders, with the collaboration of MasterCard’s MasterPass. In Japan, the Pepper robot is being used as a coffee machine salesman in one of Nestle’s branches. What a time to be alive. 

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