We're one step closer to a robot uprising. The deluxe EBO X is a brand new and exciting smart home companion robot created by Enabot, that has a whole host of amazing features designed to not only provide household entertainment, but to keep your home safe and secure. For the premium price - is it worth it? For a quick rundown of what EBO can do, see our first impressions of the EBO X.
If you love the colorful droids from the Star Wars universe such as BB-8 and R2D2, then you'll fall in love pretty quickly with the EBO X as a personal assistant. It can follow you around the house, answer your questions through built-in Alexa functionality and ChatGPT (coming soon), remind you to drink water and take your medication, it can connect to streaming apps like Spotify through Bluetooth, and captures ultra high-res 4k footage too!
The EBO X robot from Enabot is a pretty big deal, having hugely impressed the industry lately in receiving the Robotics Innovation Award, as well as the Smart Home Innovation Award at CES 2023. Its fun and quirky design appeal paired with impressive features for home security has earned the EBO X plenty of glowing reviews from popular online media outlets and YouTubers alike.
But how and where do you buy it? The EBO X Kickstarter campaign initially offered the robot at a discounted rate to its early bird pledges, and has already begun the process of shipping out units to day one supporters. If you missed out on the inceptive EBO Kickstarter, then unfortunately you'll need to pay the full price for an EBO X starting at a ludicrous $999! (£782 / AU$1470 approx).
Incorporating both robotics and a security camera, we of course had to see for ourselves what all the fuss is about with the EBO X, and while it is pretty adorable, it should not be considered a toy, and it's definitely not just a basic pet camera - which its predecessor, the Enabot EBO Air was primarily marketed and sold as.
We'll go into more detail about what the EBO X is capable of in the key features section of this review, and for sample images and video footage from this adorable AI camera then skip to the Performance section of this review using the tabs above.
EBO X: Specifications
Release Date: May 2023
Camera quality: 8MP + Infra-red night vision
Video: 4K Stabilized Camera with Color Night Vision.
Sensors: IMU, Obstacle Avoidance Sensor, Anti-drop Sensor
Audio: Far-field Sound with 4-Microphone Array + Haraman AudioEFX
Capacity: 2GB RAM + 8GB ROM (includes MicroSD card)
Dimensions: 168mm x 168mm x 176mm
Battery: 2500mAh, fully charged in 2.5 hours
Charger: Contact Charging Interface
Speed: 1.5m/s (max)
Stability: Single Axis Gimbal
Climbing angle: ≤ 15°
Obstacle-surmounting Height: ≤ 10mm.
CPU: ARM Cortex-A53 * 4 @1.2~1.5GHz
What's in the box?: The EBO X, Charging/Docking Station, plug, User Manual, and MicroSD card (in the device).
EBO X: Key features
As we mentioned above, the Enabot EBO X robot is primarily intended as a home security companion above all else, with the ability to safeguard your family (and pets) through intelligent home mapping and navigation, computer visuals, facial recognition, virtual fence monitoring, and two-way communication.
These features along with its ability to independently recognize dangerous situations in the household and react to them accordingly make it a top candidate as one of the best indoor security cameras that money can buy, although the price tag is not ideal for those of us on a budget.
Testing this robot was a little tricky at first, given that it's newly released and still undergoing developments with beta testing and regular firmware updates. This meant I needed to download a separate developer app onto my Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra to test the EBO X, plus install APK updates for it to function correctly.
A smart companion and home entertainment device that keeps you and your loved ones connected remotely is the whole idea of EBO X, but let's get into what it can actually do. The EBO X is equipped and compatible with Alexa, but you'll need to manually set this up using the app and connect your Amazon account to the robot.
Once integrated with Alexa, the EBO X can answer pretty much any question the same way that Alexa would and with its voice - such as "What's the weather like today" and "Alexa, set a timer for 10 minutes" and so forth.
But what sets EBO X apart from your usual Echo dots and Fire cubes, is that it can actually see and interact with you. Once the robot hears you say "Alexa" it will use the Sound Source Location feature to turn and face whoever spoke to it, for direct communication and to politely show that it's listening.
It can also recognize individual family members in the home, and once they have been registered through facial recognition, EBO will be able to deliver messages to individual people, if you were to say "Remind grandpa to take his medicine" the robot would track down who it believes to be grandpa using the map it creates of your home and deliver the message or alert to grandpa. Pretty cool right?
The mapping process is a little tedious, though, and you'll find EBO bobbing back and forth in a strange rocking stance in an attempt to create a map of a specific room to navigate it better the next time around using V-SLAM technology with automatic path planning. Even with the mapping in place, EBO X really doesn't like rugs, and you'll hear its fancy Alexa voice calling you for help if it ever gets stuck.
The video below that I created is a great example of this, showing the initial unboxing process, followed by EBO X learning to respond to "Alexa" prompts, mapping out my living room, following me around the house while playing music using the facial recognition software, and avoiding our dogs as obstacles.
Another key feature of the Enabot EBO X is without a doubt its sound quality. It boasts a Harman AudioEFX Customized High-end Speaker that lives up to its name and when playing audio from the likes of Spotify, Amazon Music, or even Bluetooth - it sounds incredible. BUT the issue I had when testing this out was that it was sometimes impossible to get EBO to stop playing as it couldn't hear me.
Need someone to snap a family photo? EBO is fitted with a portrait-centering mode to make sure everyone is in the center frame. It also has a clever posture recognition function, which means it can detect when someone has fallen by looking at their posture.
This is how the elderly fall detection system works, as when the EBO X recognizes a fall during its patrol of the home, the pose-estimation algorithm will initiate a call to you via the APP so you can see what's going on.
The same method is how the crying child alert works, and similarly, the virtual fencing function can be used to set specific areas of the home as private or dangerous to enter. The EBO X will then notify you through the app if someone breaches the virtual fence, this could be: fireplaces, balconies, private home offices, entrances to a basement, or even the backyard.
Let's talk about the camera
Fitted with a 4K one-axis stabilized camera, the EBO X can capture amazing quality still images and videos of your household, provided that your internet broadband can handle it. It has an 8-megapixel ultra low-light sensor and provides the super large 106-degree FOV, with a vertical angle that is adjustable within a range of 104 degrees.
The powerful infrared night vision sensor allows you to not only investigate what that bump in the night was, but see it pretty clearly too in high res, low light color clarity. It could even give the best night vision goggles and binoculars a run for the money, though admittedly I didn't test this out in a field in the pitch black.
Be sure to take a look at the sample images and recorded footage from the EBO X in the performance section of this review.
EBO X: Build & handling
Arguably one of the most intelligent moving home bots on the market, the Enabot EBO X is powered by a mighty X3M chip, which has been based on a dual-core BPU architecture, capable of 5 trillion operations per second, and coupled with tens of thousands of hours of unique training data to be able to respond to requests and tasks that you bestow on it.
The power button to activate EBO X is underneath the robot, which is convenient as it won't be accidentally pressed, but it does require lifting the device to activate it, and consequentially getting fingerprints on the pretty display screen in doing so. If you ever need to reset EBO as I did at least 6 times in the early testing stages, you'll need a SIM card pin to reach the reset button which is near the power button.
The wheels and tread on the EBO X can be removed for easy cleaning, and the self-balanced two-wheel design allows it to readjust itself if it topples over or is knocked by someone in the house. The motor is virtually silent, and the multiple built-in dToF and ALS sensors are meant to give the EBO X drop prevention, plus obstacle detection and avoidance. Head to the performance section of the review if you're interested to see how the drop prevention test went horribly wrong.
On either side of EBO X are touch sensors - the big circles - and once you tap them they are able to perform commands such as playing the next song or cycling through lighting color schemes. The purpose of the touch sensors and how they operate can be adjusted using the app.
My neighbors are probably used to hearing me scream ALEXA at the top of my lungs just to get EBO to hear me and either turn the volume down or stop the stream, but if it ever becomes an issue there's a volume control touch panel on the top of EBO's head, so a quick pat should do the job. The side panels can also be customized for song changing too.
I forgot to mention the impressive "return to charging" feature that EBO has, where once its battery levels fall below 20% it will alert you that it's going home to charge, and can self-navigate back to its charging dock without any input needed from you to put it on charge manually, unless it gets stuck under the coffee table.
The display screen is interactive with color-changing eyes that indicate how much charge EBO X has and whether it's in privacy mode or alert. Speaking of privacy, many people will undoubtedly have reservations and privacy concerns about letting a robot with a camera into their home, but the EBO X has a few privacy features that might put you at ease.
The pop-up camera can be tucked away simply by shutting its lid and retracting it back into the main body, and there’s a privacy button built into EBO X too that will disable the microphone, and light up red so you know when it’s switched off.
The EBO X 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.
How is it different to other EBO devices?
EBO X is pretty revolutionary in what it can do as a smart home assistant with wheels, and also as a patrol robot in keeping your home secure. The previous iterations of EBO devices had to walk so that the latest EBO X could run, and they shouldn't be discarded either as they are super affordable alternatives to the X.
The predecessor to the EBO X was the Enabot EBO Air, which we reviewed back in December, and it does have some very similar features to the EBO X despite it being primarily marketed as an interactive remote control pet camera - as opposed to a much bigger robot security guard that could also double as an adorable Star Wars droid.
The Enabot EBO Air is yet again different from that of its sister device, the slightly less expensive EBO SE, in that it has AI features such as pet tracking recognition and smart shooting functions, 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 main difference with the latest EBO X though, is not only its design - being roughly 4-5 times the size of the Enabot EBO Air -but there's a whole new app too created just for this robot, with specific sections for setting up the Alexa integration skills and updating the firmware regularly. One thing it does lack in comparison to the earlier models is the adorable EBO voice! The X has the voice of Alexa instead.
EBO X: The App
Speaking of the app, it deserves its own section to explain all the features and functions that can be controlled. Initially, the beta app was an absolute nightmare to use and connect to, but the now widely available EBO HOME App is functioning much better and is super easy to navigate.
Your phone must be equipped with Android OS 6.0 or above to be compatible to download the app from the Google Play store, or running iOS 13.0 or later on an iPhone or Apple device. The setup of EBO X requires using the robot to scan a QR code on your phone using the app, to connect to your account.
The first things you should do when using the app include turning on obstacle avoidance in settings, playing around with the resolution, and just for fun - you can change and customize the lighting and colors of EBO in-app, and it will dynamically move in rhythm with any music played.
The controls of the EBO X robot operate through the touch screen of your smartphone when using the EBO Home app, and work similarly to most remote control smart devices. Although, it's worth noting that EBO X can only be operated and controlled solely through your smartphone, and it 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 X, and the controls through the app have always worked brilliantly. The app will let you add another user as a family member by scanning their face - and connecting them through their own EBO accounts so they can view and access it on their own smartphones.
When operating the robot using the on-screen controls, you have the forward and back slider on the left, the left and right slider on the right, plus an angle and tilt adjustment slider on the far right. There's also a robot skills button on the right-side panel, and a charger navigation button on the left side with smart tracking.
EBO X: Performance
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 connectivity of the EBO X 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!
I've mainly been highlighting the amazing things that the EBO X can do so far, but as with most beta products, the EBO X did have a few bugs and problem areas that need straightening out for the best performance.
For example, a lot of times I left EBO on the charging dock with the camera lid open and the mic on while I went to work, and then when trying to access it a few hours later through the app it would display 'Gimbal Turned Off' with no way of remotely accessing EBO. All it took to fix this was turning EBO on and off again, but of course, I cannot physically do this when not at home.
Sometimes it was other things such as not always answering my questions and not carrying out scheduled tasks. Still, the major issue was that several of the listed features and functions of the EBO X were not fully functional - and I found this out the hard way when asking EBO to perform some Alexa commands.
Warning: do not try this at home
According to the review guide sent to me by Enabot, the EBO X is fitted with an anti-drop sensor, has edge-detection to stop itself from crossing over an edge, and has drop prevention measures from ALS sensors and multiple built-in Direct time-of-flight (dToF) depth-sensing features.
I thought this would be a harmless test of whether EBO could detect the edge of my dining table, but alas - it could not! At least I didn't try it out of a window or off a balcony ledge (sorry Enabot). The good news is that after the incident, my EBO X doesn't have a scratch on it! Proving at least that it's made from strong materials and that, if it ever were to fall from a height, then it would likely be okay.
The image quality produced from EBO X is fantastic, 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.
One minor flaw if I'm being picky, is that sometimes the images captured will have the background in sharp focus and the subject will be blurred, so for fast-moving toddlers or pets, you'll need to be quick if you want EBO to get a clear shot.
The night vision camera also produced excellent results, even when used in pitch-black conditions and from underneath the living room furniture. The image gallery shows the same scene shot both in night mode, as well as regular "Bright" mode. and the difference in clarity speaks for itself.
EBO X: Sample video footage
Video Samples from the EBO X
Being in the garden, the Wi-Fi connection to EBO X did struggle to reach a little resulting in a jumpy and buffering video stream, although it still manages just fine and can drive on artificial grass pretty smoothly.
The video above shows my nephew Hayden interacting with EBO. He was definitely amazed by the color of the robots eyes, and tried to grab at it a few times leaving fingerprints on the display screen. I would be concerned about a baby getting their fingers trapped if grabbing the EBO X by the pop out camera rim, or damaging EBO in doing such, but it withstood any rough play from Hayden without issue.
The night vision camera is pretty impressive on the EBO X and could detect lots of detail such as outdoor solar lights and tiny sheds of dog hair (I hoover every day!). It has the same resolution as the regular camera and can also be adjusted to the basic HD quality if your network or broadband connection is struggling.
EBO X: Verdict
Overall, I was super impressed with the EBO X and I've always wondered what it would be like if Alexa were a real robot! Would I recommend this product? Yes and no. If you can afford the super high price tag attached to the EBO X then you'll definitely get many weeks of fun out of it, and it really is handy to have around the home to ask questions to and play music, and find my partner to tell him that it's time for dinner.
With that said, if you can't afford an EBO X, then I wouldn't worry as you aren't missing out on an awful lot and would do just fine without one of these robots. My household is just me, my fiance, and our dog, so we don't necessarily need a robot nanny to keep everyone safe and our house in order.
But with that said, the benefit of this robot for larger families with elderly relatives and young children is clear and it would be lots of fun for each house member to have access to EBO X and its controls.
The EBO X needs to be more user-friendly with a simple and explanatory app. As I mentioned in the performance section, the EBO app would sometimes not connect to EBO and I couldn't use it while away from home despite it being in the dock and fully charged, due to the "gimbal being supposedly turned off.
The size of EBO X also seems to be a little excessive, if you make an intelligent home robot this big, at least give it the option to climb stairs or move over areas with rugs or raised surfaces. Despite this, I did really enjoy my time testing EBO, but I'm not sure if It's something I would see myself using all too often.