Android Central Verdict
The Enabot EBO Air is a very capable pet companion robot that interacts with humans and pets, provides two-way audio comms, captures images and videos, and cruises around silently at night to maintain home security. You'll have great fun with EBO Air as it talks out loud, uttering unbelievably cute phrases and making your fur-buddies chase it around with a laser pointer.
Shape and design is great for cats and kids
Charges on its own
Doubles as a security camera
Controlled with an app or scheduled to cruise autonomously
Knows lots of fun tricks
Night camera and SD card support
Not ideal for dogs who like to chew on things
Restrictions to scheduled play time
Bumps into things and gets lost
Overheats when wheels are unclean
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Smart home products range from incredibly practical tools to downright gimmicks that may or may not make our lives better. Security cameras fall into the first camp, helping to keep our homes safe and secure. A lot of folks like to put smart cameras indoors as well as outdoors, not only as a security measure but also to stay connected with family members.
Enter pet cameras. This sect of technology incorporates some of the features of the best indoor security cameras with a different purpose in mind. These devices aim to bring humans and their furry companions closer, both at home and away. Not all pet cameras are created equal; their functionalities and gimmicks tend to vary from one brand to another.
Enabot is one of the few pet camera makers that makes robot-like devices with wheels. This is a fun concept as it allows you to properly track your pets and family members by following them around vicariously through a moving robot. Today, I'm going to lay out the merits and demerits of Enabot's latest model: the marvelous EBO Air. It is a small, rotund robot that uses AI to recognize and interact with both humans and pets, making for an excellent addition to the family. Think EZVIZ on wheels, with a few key differences.
Price and availability
Enabot launched the EBO Air family robot on March 22, 2022. The Enabot EBO Air is available for purchase in the U.S. and U.K. from multiple retailers, including the official Enabot website and Amazon.
You can get your hands on this lovable mechanical companion for $229 in the U.S. and £229 in the U.K., though there are usually discounts on Amazon that reduce the price by 15%. Along with the robot itself, you also get a charging station, an adapter, some silicone feathers, and a 32GB SD card in the box.
What you'll like
The Enabot EBO Air is exactly the right size and shape to accompany a cat or a toddler. It has a large front camera "face" and a speaker and SD card slot situated on the back. The camera has a surprisingly crisp 1080p resolution and a wide 118-degree field of view. You get a 32GB memory card out of the box, but EBO Air supports up to 256GB via microSD. On the top, you'll find both the microphone and another hole to attach a silicone feather accessory for your pet to chase.
The EBO Air speaker gets fairly loud, and the microphone works excellently. Since the pet camera has night vision, it automatically switches modes in low-light areas. This means that you can also use EBO Air for security monitoring at night, and there's a dedicated security mode in the app to facilitate that. Once it's in security mode, you'll get notifications about suspicious movements. EBO Air can differentiate between pets and humans, so you don't have to worry about your furry friends triggering the security alert.
Of course, EBO Air is first and foremost a companion for your pets or family members (or both). It does just that, giving company in the truest sense of the word. You can schedule EBO Air to come out and play and even decide if you want it to interact and perform tricks for people or animals. Each movement is accompanied by unbelievably cute sounds, such as "wheee!", "pew, pew!" or "EBO, EBO!". Yes, it says its own name out frequently and trust me, it's adorable.
I have two male black cats who are polar opposites despite their physical similarities. Their vastly different personalities inadvertently gave me the perfect conditions to test out EBO Air.
My older boy, Milo, is a gentle spirit and somewhat cowardly. He is very friendly to new humans but jumps at the sound of the blender or the door closing shut. My younger kitty Bruce, on the other hand, is a spicy little firecracker and a trash gremlin. He is nervous around strangers and prefers hiding at first, but new objects that enter the house must be smelt by him immediately or much pain and suffering await us.
My cats don't get along, so we keep them in separate territories that are rotated throughout the day. I introduced EBO Air to Bruce first, as he's less afraid of things that move unexpectedly and make sounds, and Milo followed soon after. I properly introduced this new foreign object and let both cats get familiar with the robot's scent before turning it on.
I wasn't surprised that Bruce got along swimmingly with EBO Air. The part that I didn't expect was how much fun he had chasing it around, swatting at it, sniffing it, and finally falling asleep next to it once the zoomies were over. He got properly excited by the robot and befriended it, which is exactly what a pet companion should do. Over time, he even started waiting for EBO Air to come out and play with him during the scheduled hours. My colleague Chris reports that his cat also learned the Enabot robot's schedule, waiting for playtime to arrive.
To me, what's even more impressive it that my scaredy-cat Milo wasn't afraid of EBO Air at all. The brushless motor and wheel tracks are exceptionally silent, helping nervous Nellies like sweet old Milo become accustomed to the Enabot robot quickly. He didn't run, hide, or skedaddle around EBO Air like he usually does when someone sneezes or drops their keys.
The Enabot EBO Air charges on its own, which is pretty convenient. You can use the app as a remote control to move it around. The app layout is easy to navigate if you've ever played a racing game on your phone. EBO Air uses its camera, microphone, and speaker to deliver two-way communication between the people around it and the person using the app.
You can get real-time audio and video transmission through the app along with two-way audio communication. This enables you to talk to your loved ones through the Enabot robot, be they pets or people. I tested out this cool feature when away from home to check on my cat, follow him around, and interact with my family. It worked perfectly and I have no doubt that as long as EBO Air has a Wi-Fi connection, you'll be able to do the same from anywhere in the world, so long as your phone also has an internet connection.
The Enabot EBO app allows you to issue commands to follow your pets or humans around, though it must choose to follow either one at a time. You can also order EBO Air to perform fun assorted tricks like going around in a figure eight on the floor, rotating and spinning very fast, doing a sort of moonwalk, and a few other actions. EBO Air does these complete with sound effects such as giggling or excitedly saying "wheee!" when going at a fast pace.
If your kitty ends up smacking the robot in its frenzy or the robot bumps into things, you'll have the pleasure of hearing EBO Air say "ouch," which is hilarious. EBO Air also has a laser pointer feature that you can turn on from the app. It's an excellent option for cats especially, who love chasing lasers.
Enabot's app security is pretty good. If you want multiple users to have access to the Enabot EBO Air, you have to grant access through the main account through the app. To tighten your safety further, the pet companion robot doesn't store any images or videos it captures on the cloud. Everything goes straight to the microSD card or your phone's gallery.
What you won't like
The Enabot EBO Air's wheel tracks pick up a lot of fur, hair, and other debris over time. If you don't clean the wheels out at least once a month, EBO Air starts overheating due to the dirt build-up. But at first, I couldn't understand why EBO Air was heating us and turning off. I got the heat warning in the app, but no explicit advice suggesting I clean the wheels. While the cleaning process for the wheels isn't complex, it would have been very helpful if the app recommended I check them in the first place.
Another major problem with EBO Air is that it doesn't have the best proximity sensor. This causes it to bump into things, get caught on rugs that it can't move on, and fall off ledges sometimes. Piling onto this issue is EBO Air's horrible sense of direction. This pet camera gets lost at least twice a day because it doesn't map your house like any decent robot vacuum would.
As a result, it can't even find the charging station right away and sometimes dies in the prolonged search for its home base. I've even faced situations where I woke up at the crack of dawn to the woes of the Enabot EBO Air repeatedly yelling "ouch!", smacking into random objects in its blind search for the charging station. That's definitely not a fun way to start your day.
Finally, it's important to note that the Enabot EBO Air is not exactly ideal for dogs. Cats are small and don't tend to chew on things like pups will, especially the young, excitable ones. Since EBO Air isn't waterproof, it will likely succumb to the curious bites of a pupper exploring the world around it by way of teeth and mouth. Enabot dubbed it a pet camera for all, but I'd argue it's unsuitable for canines.
I also wish you could schedule the Enabot EBO Air robot to move around on its own for much longer. Currently, you can only trigger EBO Air to move independently for five minutes at a time. This isn't always enough time to entice your kitty into playing with it or give it enough exercise.
Another great feature that I see as a missed opportunity is voice assistant support. Integrating Alexa and Google Assistant would've really upped the game. Enabot explained to me that adding this would have increased the cost of the product, but hopefully we might see it in future products.
There is a host of smart pet cameras in the wild, but very few of them can move from their positions using wheels. The ones that do offer mobility are from no-name Chinese brands whom you probably wouldn't trust, seeing as a pet camera can monitor every aspect of your personal life.
If it's a trustworthy pet camera, then the best alternative to the Enabot EBO Air would be the Petcube Cam. It can't cruise and patrol your home or follow your pet around but it does cost a quarter of the price. You get two-way audio communication, night vision, and alerts for sound and motion. The app allows you to connect with a vet, though this feature requires a monthly subscription.
For fancy tricks, you'd need to stretch your budget quite a lot. The Furbo Dog Camera has Alexa onboard, transmits live audio and video to your phone, and chucks treats to your pet. There's even a bark alert system in place, helping you stay on top of things while away from your pets. Once again, however, the best features are locked away behind a paywall.
If it's lasers you're after, then the Petcube Play 2 is a decent alternative. However, it can't move around or perform any of the fancy tricks that EBO Air can. The Petcube Play 2 is essentially the Petcube Cam with a wider field of view and a laser built in.
Should you buy it?
You should buy this if...
- You want a mobile pet camera
- You need a pet companion that can play incredibly well
- You want a pet camera with on-device storage
- You require a double-duty pet camera with night vision and security features
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You want Alexa or Google Assistant support
- You want a pet camera that can map your home
- You have a multi-storied home with stairs
- Your pet likes to chew on things
The adorable voice, cool tricks, and just the shape of the Enabot EBO Air in general are all so cute. All of these quirks and the robot's ability to move around and interact with people or pets give EBO Air a personality. I found myself thinking of it as a pet more than a robotic pet companion, and I'm sure my cats saw it as a proper companion.
Having EBO Air at home is a great comfort while travelling. You know that you can check in on your loved ones even if they're not in the same room. This alone is a unique feature that makes the Enabot EBO Air a very useful purchase. It's so easy to recommend it to friends, even those without pets. Who wouldn't want a security camera that has a pair of wheels to patrol your home and also play with whoever's at home? This is a rare find, despite all the downsides.
So, whether you're on the hunt for a pet camera or an indoor security camera, the Enabot EBO Air will make a perfect addition to your smart home. None of its features require monthly plans and the robot has enough unusual capabilities to keep your furry companions entertained for a while. Even when you find yourself woken up in the middle of the night to a loud yelp screaming "ouch", you'll have a hearty laugh and come to love EBO Air's shortcomings, just like I did.
Friendly neighborhood pet camera
The Enabot EBO Air is an outstanding companion for your pets and family members. It can perform fun tricks, move about on wheels, capture snapshots, allow two-way audio comms, and charge on its own. If anything, the robot's sweet childlike voice and silly antics will surely win you and your pet's heart.