updated 09:30 am EST, Thu December 17, 2009
ASUS to build Android-powered EeeBot for kids
PC maker ASUS has plans to develop and build an educational robot for kids, the EeeBot, that would run on the open-source Android operating system from Google. According to a Wednesday report, the project will be sponsored by the Taiwanese government to promote Android. A government website describes the project as an affordable robot, with all hardware and software tweaking performed by ASUS.
Some of the cost of development of the EeeBot will be subsidized by content and services related to the robot in order to make it more attainable by families. The EeeBot will have human robot interaction (HRI) technology, voice and visual recognition, and navigation capabilities.
As for timelines, ASUS says it should take two years to start building trial production runs of the EeeBot once the project plan is finalized. The program will have an annual dollar output value of about $155 million in four years, the company says.
Android is already used for applications other than its original intention of smartphones, including netbooks, e-book readers like the Nook and some home entertainment devices. The EeeBot will be the latest of many Eee-branded products from ASUS, which already include the Eee PC netbooks as well as desktops like the Eee Box, Eee Keyboard and Eee Top.