Bottom line: The Enabot EBO is an excellent companion to keep around the family home for security, surveillance, and even entertainment.
Excellent companion camera for families
Recognizes and interacts with people and pets
Patrols automatically or via remote control
Works as security when no one is home
EBO gets lost easily
Wheels require frequent cleaning if you have pets
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In-home security cameras can only do so much. Even if you have one in every room, there will always be blind spots and areas that remain inaccessible to a stationary camera. But what if your security camera has wheels? For me, the biggest attraction to having an Enabot EBO Air is its ability to patrol the house, find pets or people, and even facilitate interactions and conversations from afar using the EBO iOS app.
EBO Air is a brand new model in Enabot's line of camera robots, and I feel like Enabot has only begun to realize the potential of this product. There are so many more ways a camera-bot like this could be utilized as an interactive companion for kids and pets. But even now in its 1st-generation form, EBO is an innovative and fun way to perform surveillance and create interactions in the family home, even when you are far away.
Enabot EBO Air: Price and availability
Enabot products are easily available on the Enabot website, Amazon, and B&H. The EBO Air model usually goes for $229, but right now B&H is offering EBO for only $199 as a new release deal. So at the time of this writing, B&H is the best place to buy your EBO Air. If it goes on sale on Amazon or Enabot, you can always stay up-to-date in the iMore Deals section.
Enabot EBO Air: Surveillance isn't creepy; it's fun!
There's a lot to love about little EBO. First we can talk about cute factor. The little camera-bot fits in the palm of your hand, but his lens can shoot in a surprisingly wide angle that takes in most of the room. He comes with cute feather accessories in several colors that can be placed on his head purely for the sake of fun. My kids love his funny child-like voice and playful antics. (Yes, we have gendered EBO as a boy but this little robot can be whatever you want it to be.) The bot can be programmed to come out and perform silly tricks and sound effects whenever it finds a human or pet. It will also perform these behaviors on command in remote-control mode on the iPhone app.
While the cuteness is certainly fun for kids and pets, the real value of the EBO Air is in its ability to patrol and provide surveillance. There are so many ways you can use EBO as a surveillance tool in the home, whether you're checking in to see how the kids are doing with the babysitter, making sure your pet is behaving at home alone, or keeping an eye on an elderly relative. If you can't see your kids from EBO's stationary dock, you can simply use remote control mode to drive him around the house until you find whoever it is you're looking for. Once you find them, you can talk through the bot to have a two-way conversation with people or pets. This comes in mighty handy when I'm headed home and need to send a helpful reminder to my 11-year-old in the way of, "Why are you watching TV? You need to get ready for soccer!"
It also works as a great security camera when the house is empty. I have my EBO set up with his dock facing the front door, so even when he's stationary, he can record anyone who comes in or out. You can program it so that it sends an alert whenever it detects movement. The bot can also patrol the home in security mode and send alerts whenever it detects human movement. In fact, you can even program it to follow a subject around and record their every move! This is a bit creepy but might be helpful in some security situations.
Some people like to use the EBO Air as a companion for their pets when left home alone, but I think the success of this depends on the pet. This camera bot would be great for a cat since it can move in enticing ways that encourage a good chase, and it has a laser that projects onto the floor to encourage interaction. This functionality might also work with a very playful dog, especially since the bot can be programmed to patrol the house periodically and seek out your pets. Once it finds a pet it will make animal sounds and perform cute antics to get their attention. You can also speak to your pet through the EBO. My big lazy dog, however, has very little interest in EBO. He observes it with something like disdain and ignores EBO most of the time. If I speak to him through the bot, he gets confused. This is why I think EBO's success as a pet companion will definitely depend on the personality of your pet.
Enabot EBO Air: The 'Mother, I'm lost" notification
EBO has a great talent for getting lost. When I have him set to do automatic patrols of the house, I will occasionally get a "Help!" notification on my iPhone 13 Pro to let me know that EBO is hopelessly lost and cannot find his way home. When this happens, I have to open the iOS app and look at his camera to see where he is. It's often in the corner of the balcony or bathroom that he loses his way. Then I use the remote control feature to drive him back to a place where he can "see" his home base, and from there he can hook himself back up to the charger. This only happens occasionally, and it's honestly kind of funny, but a glitch nevertheless. I'm hoping Enabot might be able to fix this problem in a future software update.
The only other minor nuisance is EBO's intolerance for dog hair. His wheels can become easily jammed with dog hair. When this happens, I have to disassemble him and pick out all the hair so he can move freely again. This seems a bit odd for a robot labeled as a pet companion, but I guess it's unavoidable in a house with as much dog hair as mine. The bright side is that Enabot provides a ton of tutorial videos on how to use EBO and how to clean out his wheels, so it's a pretty simple maintenance task that I have to perform every few weeks.
Enabot EBO Air: Competition
EBO Air is a unique and innovative device. I haven't found another product that provides the same set of features, but one similar product is the DOGNESS Smart CAM iPET Robot. This robot camera is designed more as a pet companion than a surveillance device, but it does provide more interactive skills for pets, such as a treat toss for good boys and girls. This robot does not do automatic surveillance or security alerts, however, nor is it targeted to families with kids. While the iPet Robot is pretty great for pets, I like the EBO better for kids and surveillance purposes.
Enabot EBO Air: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You have kids and and/or pets.
- You'd like patrolling video surveillance when you're not at home.
- Stationary cameras are not fulfilling your needs.
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You can't abide a lost bot sending notifications to your iPhone.
- Cleaning dog hair out of wheels seems unfeasible.
For me, any family in which the parents have to work outside of the home or travel away from their kids and/or pets, a robotic camera is an ideal addition to the home. It's also a great idea for someone who cares for a relative who is elderly or suffering from dementia. An EBO Air will allow the user to see and interact with anyone in the home from afar, even if they are in another room away from the camera charging base.
Since it is such a new product, there are occasionally little glitches, like when EBO gets lost and can't find his way back to the base. There is also some maintenance required if you have pets, since EBO's wheelhouse accumulates hair and requires regular cleaning. For me, these are insignificant complaints in comparison to the wide range of cool features that EBO offers.
In my house, EBO has become a fun electronic member of the family. I have the bot programmed to come out once a day just to zoom around and get a laugh out of my kids. I also use him often to check in on the kids when they are left alone or with a babysitter. When we travel as a family, it's comforting to have a small, silent robot patrolling my home, ready to send an alert to my iPhone at the slightest sign of movement.
Although EBO does occasionally get lost or tangled in dog hair, these are easy fixes that don't outweigh the wide range of benefits we enjoy in EBO's company. The camera-bot is both entertaining and incredibly useful. I think for a family that owns a cat, he would be even more engaging as a pet companion as well. I can say with confidence that I could never go back to stationary security camera in the house after coming to depend on our friendly neighborhood EBO.
Jaclyn Kilani is a content writer at iMore. She's a longtime Apple addict with a flair for creating (written works, design, photos; you name it!) on her devices. Jaclyn has also worked in the marketing sector for over 16 years, dabbling in a bit of everything from writing to graphic design and digital marketing. In her heart of hearts, however, she is a born writer and an avid reader who adores everything about the written word. Someday she may even churn out a book or two.
Throughout her career, Jaclyn has also developed something of an addiction to all things Apple. Her professional and personal life is enhanced by an ever-growing collection of iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, Apple Watches, and even AirTags. Luckily, this expensive habit is of great use to her work at iMore, where she writes with authority on Apple products and the accessories that go with them.