The Enabot EBO Air robot is a helpful little companion that can be used in a multitude of ways, but it's primarily designed and fitted with features to keep a close eye on your pet when you're away, making it a top candidate as one of the best pet cameras (opens in new tab) that money can buy, or even as an indoor security camera (opens in new tab).
EBO is able to patrol your home, spy on your family, and find your pet all by itself at any time of the day that you schedule it to, provided that it is connected to Wifi and charged up. But, EBO also has remote control features that allow you to take the wheel yourself and navigate the robot camera around your home from the work office to interact and play with your pet, no matter how many miles away you are.
Priced at $229 / £179.99 / AU$369.99 this robot pet toy camera certainly isn't the cheapest, but the features it offers do justify the price in our opinion, and the camera quality is actually superb in comparison to other pet and security cameras on the market. The integrated app is also excellent at managing media clips captured using EBO, and can be easily saved and shared with loved ones.
You'll soon grow to love EBO's adorable little voice (yes, it talks!) and cries for help as it gets stuck behind your radiator or takes a paw to the face of a pet who wants to play with it. "Ow, EBO!" is a phrase that it says most commonly when in times of struggle, otherwise you'll hear the occasional "oooo" sound from it when you're at home and it decides to go for a wonder.
The EBO Air can even auto-navigate itself back to its charger when the battery level falls, without any prior instruction or prompting. It will say "I'm going home to charge" in its much cuter Wall-E-reminiscent voice, and then make its way to the charging station and after multiple failed attempts, eventually reverse itself back into the slot on the charger and remain there until it's time for a new patrol.
We'll go into more detail about what the EBO Air is capable of in the key features section of this review, for sample images and video footage from this adorable AI camera then skip to the Performance section of this review using the tabs above.(opens in new tab)
EBO Air: Specifications
Release Date: March 22, 2022
Camera Quality: 1080p at 30fps with CMOS Sensor
Field of View: 118 degrees
Capacity: Supports up to 256GB (includes 32GB MicroSD card)
Dimensions: 9.6 x 9.6 x 8.9 cm
Weight: 310 grams
Charger: Charging stand - 5V at 2A max
Battery: 2500mAh, 3.7V
Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU): 9-axis
Real-time transmission: 480p@30fps
CPU: Dual ARM A7@1GHz
What's in the box?: The EBO Air device, Charging Station and plug, User Manual, MicroSD card (in the device), Silicone pet colored feathers.
EBO Air: Key features
As we mentioned above, the Enabot EBO Air is primarily intended for use as a home security patrol camera, with features designed specifically for pet tracking and interaction. This little Pokemon-looking device will quickly become the latest addition to your family, and part of your daily routine in checking on your home while out shopping or when working from the office, offering full house mobile monitoring.
EBO is fitted with a near-silent brushless motor that when used on carpet barely makes a sound, and the two-way communication offers real-time audio transmission so that you can talk to your pet or family in the household through the app by pressing the microphone button, and also hear what's happening in the room.
The integrated EBO app is pretty much the only way to control and maintain the device, but it does offer a nice fun interface that allows you to customize each aspect of the EBO Air setup and functionality, change the custom tasks list, and select a mode to operate in such as Pet mode or random.
The EBO Air is just as fun to control when home, as well as when away from your home, and the device can be programmed through the app to set reminders that EBO can announce to you such as to drink water or not to miss an important meeting. It can also perform assorted tricks at the tap of a button such as spinning in a circle frantically and a sequence that the app calls its moonwalk, where the robot will roll forwards and backwards.
The Enabot EBO Air is different from that of its sister device, the slightly less expensive EBO SE, in that it has AI features such as a pet tracking recognition and shooting function, as well as an infrared laser and Anti-drop features that can prevent the device from rolling off of any high surfaces, countertops, or even down the stairs.
The EBO Air has its own little personality, and is able to perform cool tricks when prompted, while using its laser function to entertain your cat or ferret, and will even learn over time using its AI to recognize and interact with familiar pets and faces in the home to determine who and what is not considered to be abnormal or a security threat to your household, with an 'Abnormal' video alarm and message push notification sent to your phone if it detects something off.
The night vision infrared camera is superb quality, and EBO's security features can allow it to be scheduled to cruise autonomously around your home at times that you choose during the day or night. However, it's worth noting that EBO has its own hours of operation that it calls its 'Activity Time' which are between the hours of 8 am to 12 pm, and then from 2 pm to 9 pm.(opens in new tab)
These activity times are set in stone and cannot be changed, so your EBO Air will not patrol outside of this time frame unless it is controlled or activated remotely by yourself using the app. While this doesn't make much sense, it's not a huge problem to work around and does prevent EBO from being disruptive or going off by itself in the middle of the night.
Other cool and notable features of EBO Air include its ability to capture its own snapshots, the microphone and audio systems that encourage and promote two-way audio comms, and its awesome ability to charge on its own by navigating its way back to the charging dock. How EBO does this is a mystery, but it's likely to do with infrared or invisible signals being sent from the station to EBO.
EBO Air: Build & handling
The tumbler design of the EBO Air is very convenient and cleverly allows the device to re-adjust and align itself when toppling over, and navigate its way around your home on self-patrols without knocking into things or falling off of any slopes.
The EBO Air is smooth and sleek to the touch with a silky feel, and the string and sturdy build is reassuring that the device can handle a few knocks and bumps if it were to collide with any household objects or get in a squabble with your pet.
The display screen is interactive with a color-changing heart symbol that can communicate EBO's charging level, Wi-Fi connectivity, and general functionality. The camera lens is integrated with the display and can be easily cleaned and wiped over should it be licked by your pet or be smudged with a toddler fingerprint.
I never figured out what the Instagram logo on the device display screen is meant for, as there's no direct Instagram link with the device or through the app, and the instruction manual and online Enabot home page for the EBO Air (opens in new tab) don't offer much clarity either on why this logo is on the device - and then sometimes disappears.(opens in new tab)
The EBO Air comes included and fitted with a microSD card which is excellent as most manufacturers now rely on consumers to purchase their own SD cards for smart devices, with many phone manufacturers now omitting the charging plug and adapter from the box contents to force customers to supply their own.
Images captured by EBO are saved directly to the internal memory SD card or can be saved straight to your phone's gallery depending on what you choose.
Also included with the EBO Air is a set of silicone feathers that can be attached easily to the top of EBO via a tiny little hole, and is intended to entice your pet to play with the feather on top of the device and interact with EBO.(opens in new tab)
Warning: Monitor your pet at all times when using silicone feathers, especially dogs! I'm almost certain that my doodle ate the blue feather while I wasn't looking as it's nowhere to be found. Luckily she's totally fine, but for smaller dogs or puppies this could easily be a choking hazard or upset their tummies at best.
EBO Air: Performance
The controls of the EBO Air robot operate through the touch screen of your smartphone when using the EBO app, and work similarly to most remote control smart devices. Although, it's worth noting that EBO can only be operated and controlled solely through your smartphone and does not include or have any form of physical remote to accompany it.
I never found this to be an issue during my testing of EBO, and the controls through the app have always worked brilliantly. Your phone must be equipped with Android OS 5.0 or above to be compatible to download the app from the Google Play store, or running iOS 10.0 or later on an iPhone or Apple device.(opens in new tab)
The connectivity of the EBO Air works flawlessly when connected to a stable Wi-Fi at your home residence, and the app allowed me to control the robot and patrol my home multiple times from my desk at work, despite being fifty miles away!
If you've ever played with a Sphero robot, an Anki Cozmo robot, or even Nintendo's Mario Kart Circuit Live race cars, then you'll likely find the device relatively easy to control and operate around your home space, just be wary of any obstacles, carpets and rugs, or pieces of furniture that will limit EBO's space and field of view.
The image quality produced from EBO is actually pretty great, and super clear when watching a live feed from the app. I would even go as far as to say that the camera quality outperforms some of the recent smartphones that I've tested (sorry Nokia).
The night vision camera also produced amazing results, even when used in pitch-black conditions and from underneath the living room furniture when hiding from Tilly when she's in attack mode.
My dog wasn't too fussed about the laser mode or when EBO would spin around, but she did love chasing after it all over the house and knocking it over wherever possible. She started off super calm, inquisitive, and even a little timid around EBO, but this soon changed as anything it did would make her growl and bark.(opens in new tab)
The device is extremely easy to use, although you will often bump into a few things undoubtedly, although when EBO performs tricks it will make the camera spin rapidly, so it's best not to watch the live footage at this point if you tend to get a little motion sick.
I found that when Tilly played and pawed at EBO it would topple over pretty easily, and needed time to readjust itself back into position before carrying on with its patrol or route.
EBO's adorable voice can actually become a little annoying if you hear it too often, and the sentiment will wear off after about a week of hearing "Ouch, EBO" a few times in a row while the woofer attacks it.
EBO Air: Sample video footage
Video Samples from the EBO Air
The sound that can be heard from the video above is actually silent in person, thanks to EBO's quiet brushless motor, but unfortunately, the video footage it records does pick up these sounds pretty loudly, and not so much the voice of EBO or other household members as these sounds are muffled out.
The video below is a recording from EBO of me talking to Tilly through the microphone while not at home. This made her understandably confused as can be seen from her head tilts, and then she runs to the window to see if I'm home as she can hear my voice and is wondering where it's coming from.
It would be much better if Tilly could see as well as hear me through EBO to avoid her getting upset and confused, but this would of course make the device much more premium and expensive, and it would probably need to look completely different too, eliminating the compact and portable tumbler design.
The night vision camera worked exceptionally well, but did give me horror video game and blair witch vibes as Tilly interrupted my patrol and attacked the EBO in the dark, proceeding to carry it in her mouth through the hallway.
EBO Air: Verdict
Overall, I was super impressed with the performance and quality of the EBO Air robot camera, and even if you don't have any pets or security concerns in your home, this robot is super fun to control remotely no matter how far away you are, and my six-year-old nephew couldn't get enough of it, always wanting to check on Tilly and control EBO when out shopping and in the car.
A perfect Christmas present for a relative who works away from home, the EBO Air really does have it all, although if I'm being picky - compatibility with smart speakers such as Alexa and Google home would really be the cherry on the cake. Other improvements from Enabot could involve making the device waterproof, in the unlikely event that your dog drops the robot into their water bowl and some improved upgrades to EBO's proximity sensor and gyroscope.(opens in new tab)
I had so much fun testing this robot and only had to put it away when it really started to annoy my dog and would make her act up and chew things while I was out, presumably from the frustration of hearing EBO's beeps, as prior to getting EBO she was always good as gold when left at home and I never returned to any mess. So this is something to be aware of and consider if you're contemplating purchasing an EBO robot camera for yourself and your pet.
It withstood heavy play from Tilly, who is a medium-sized dog with a strong build, and was even carried around in her mouth on multiple occasions when she figured out how to grip it by the tire tread. If your pet is better behaved than mine, definitely consider investing in one of these devices to keep an eye on them or keep them occupied while you're away - but be mindful that it may have the opposite effect and stress out your pet instead, or just make them miss you even more.
• You may also be interested in the following:
- My dog ate my memory card... but the images survived! (opens in new tab)
- "Pupparazzi" pro Kaylee Greer shares her secrets (opens in new tab)
- 15 cute dog pictures to brighten your day (opens in new tab)
- Photo competition sets out in search of the UK's ugliest dog (opens in new tab)