Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Enabot Ebo Pro Review: A Wobbly Robotic Toy For Your Cat

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When I am going to be absent for longer than a normal working day, I usually install two security cameras so I can check my chats. But even the best security cameras can’t find a pet hidden under the bed. The Ebo Pro can uncover these hidden nooks and crannies, giving more peace of mind to anxious parents like me. It has a 1080p (HD) lens, identical to most standard home security cameras.

It’s pretty fast, but the feed is unstable, probably because its tank-style crawler wheels don’t provide enough stability. They barely protrude from the bottom, so its little spherical body swings back and forth. It works pretty well on my mats, but the wobbles make it difficult to drive – not a big deal, but there is definitely room for improvement. The Ebo can also tip over if a big enough obstacle or threatening cat’s paw puts it off balance, but this has only happened to me once.

Like some robot vacuum cleaners, the Ebo Pro is struggling to properly return to its dock to recharge. He has a tendency to back up, forward and backward for several minutes. For weeks mine never managed to roll over the edge of its dock and load. I thought my stack was preventing him from gaining enough momentum, but one day he magically figured out how to do it. However, if I use it for almost an hour and the battery starts to die – it dies pretty quickly – the Ebo usually forgets how to lock again. This robot will sometimes need a hand to get back to its dock, which isn’t the worst thing if you’re at home. It’s more frustrating if you’re not.

Again and again

The Ebo also does not have an “off” switch. Like many wireless headphones, it does not have a power button. It’s just… all the time. Correct connection will put it to sleep, but it is still on. To turn it off completely without the docking station, you have to use a pin to press a hidden reset button at the bottom and set it up again the next time you want to use it. Or you can let it run out of battery.

You might not mind that Ebo is always on, but it is inconvenient. If you or your cat accidentally turned off the sensors – or if you lose energy during a storm in the middle of the night like I did – Ebo will simply turn on, let out a loud “Ebo” and will start to roam dies or redocks. It’s pretty terrifying trying to sleep.

The fact that it’s always on and he has a camera can be an alarming combination. All data is stored internally, so there is nothing in the cloud, and the live streaming from the camera to your phone is via peer-to-peer technology, so it doesn’t go through a server to share live data. I probably wouldn’t dress in front of it, but I also wouldn’t dress in front of my computer out of caution (or paranoia).


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