Thursday, July 17, 2014

JIBO: A Social Robot for your Family - A Robotics Game Changer?

"Jibo Wants to Be the World’s First Family Robot"

"Social robots. That's pretty much all Dr. Cynthia Breazeal has thought about for the past 20 years. Not so much how to build a better robot, but how to build one that could work and live alongside humans. It sounds like a simple concept, but it’s not; perhaps that is why it has taken her all these years to finally deliver a consumer product: Jibo, the world’s first family robot.

Jibo is a desktop robot making its debut on Indiegogo on Wednesday. At first glance, Jibo looks like a mashup between a desk lamp and Wall-E’s “EV.” It has a round base that plugs into a standard AC outlet, a slightly cone-shaped midsection and a round head with a flat front that sits on top of it. That dark, round face features a 5.7-inch screen. The design is attractive, but not necessarily compelling — that is, until Jibo comes to life

“Jibo, please introduce yourself,” Dr. Breazeal says, raising her voice only slightly. The transformation is startling. Jibo’s face lights up and its 11.5-inch body swivels around to face her. Jibo’s screen shows a large “blinking” ball (the blink is like the closing of an eye), as it responds, “Hi, my name is Jibo.”

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