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Enobot EBO Air: The Ultimate Home Security Pet Robot Cat Toy ... Thing?

Oct 24,2023 | James Bruce/Make_use_of


The Enobot Ebo Air is a tricky gadget to define. It can be a robot pet, which can run around randomly, sounds cute, and takes pictures when it sees someone. It can be a security guard that can keep watch on your house while you're away. It can be a pet toy to remotely play and communicate with your beloved creatures while they're bored at home. It can be a daily reminder system. It can be all of these things, yet isn't particularly great at any of them. It's been living in our kitchen for the past two weeks, and I still can't really figure out what, or who, it's actually for.


Ebo Air Hardware

At a superficial level, the Ebo Air is a lot smaller than I expected. It's a spherical shape robot with a diameter of 95mm (3.74inches). It moves around using two tracks on the base, and the design enables it to be mostly self-righting if it takes a little tumble. It also features optional drop sensors on the front and sides, though these only work on a hard edge, and not, for instance, on carpeted stairs.

enobot ebo air- tracks

On the front is an illuminated LED heart, which glows in various colors to indicate.. .something. A red camera icon will appear when it's recording, and a separate Wi-Fi icon. There's a 1080p wide-angle camera in the center, though the quality isn't fantastic:

enobot ebo air- sample photo

There's even a small laser module aimed downwards about six inches in front. This can be remotely activated, or Ebo will autonomously use it during one of its random play sessions, if your animal is amused by that sort of thing. There's also a microphone and speaker so you can communicate in real-time, and Ebo features its own hideously cute robotic anime-esque voice. You'll either fall in love with it, or develop an overwhelming desire to kick it off your balcony.

enobot ebo air- pew pew laser

Finally, there's a small hole in the top into which you can insert various colors of silicone feathers. These create additional interest for your pet (or child)... but are also harmful if swallowed. So if your pet/child isn't the brightest star in the sky, maybe don't use those.

enobot ebo air- docking station

The box also contains a charging cable and dock, which works in a similar way to a robot vacuum dock. Ebo locates the dock using an infrared signal, then reverses on and charges from the pins underneath. Ebo does appear to include some sort of proximity sensor, which prevent you from deliberately ramming anything. However, unlike most modern vacuums, there's no complex 3D mapping or LiDAR going on here. Navigation is quite dumb and seemingly random

The Ebo App

In order to do anything with Ebo, you'll need to use the app. This involved registering an account and confirming my email address (twice). As expected from a device that acts as a remote communication device in your home, the Ebo app requires every permission your phone has to offer in order to operate correctly: microphone, location, network, photos, camera—the lot. If any of this concerns you, perhaps in the future you should consider not purchasing a remote control robot with a camera on it.

The app is relatively easy to use, in that you can quickly preview the video feed from the homepage, or click through for a bigger view and remote controls. The rest of the icons relate to various automated features that you can enable, which we'll talk about next. The interface is badly translated to English though, and could really do with a native speaker giving it a once over. For instance, when the security roam mode is engaged with animal identification, you might receive a notification telling you that an "infested pet has been found during cruise". Alas, Ebo cannot actually identify details such as flea infestations. Most of the notifications I received were a cry for help because Ebo had gotten stuck on some cables or a blanket.

There are also some features that are utterly pointless, like Memo. It's exactly as it sounds like; a place for you to write notes, or a diary, because I bet your phone doesn't have that already. This sort of clutter detracts from everything that's good about Ebo.


What Does Ebo Actually Do?

There are a lot of features offered, all of which are quite disparate, so it's best we just tackle this in a list in order of least cool, to most cool.

Voice Reminders. In case you don't have a smartphone, voice assistant, or any of the other myriad devices capable of setting reminders nowadays, you'll find the ability to set voice reminders under the button labeled Functions. However, you can't set generic reminders, so it needs to be one of the ten or so preprogrammed options. Things like "get up", "go to bed", or "drink water". Just choose the reminder, set a time, and choose what days to repeat. There