December 17, 2009, 9:37 AM — Asustek Computer plans to develop an educational robot for kids called the EeeBot along with software and services as part of several technology projects sponsored by the Taiwan government.
The goal is to build an affordable robot able to interact with children, according to description of the project outlined on a government Web site. Asustek will work on hardware and software as part of the project.
Asustek is one of Taiwan's biggest computer makers and pioneered the netbook movement with its Eee PC. The company has taken the name recognition around the Eee brand to several other devices, including the Eee Box and Eee Keyboard.
The EeeBot project will focus on building content and services around the robot to subsidize the cost of the hardware and make them more affordable to families. Technologies involved in the project include human robot interaction (HRI), voice and visual technologies, as well as positioning and navigation, in addition to software and other hardware.
Once the project plan has been finalized, Asustek expects it to take around two years to put a product into trial production, and four years the EeeBot program will reach yearly output value of NT$5 billion.
Asustek could not immediately be reached for comment.