The Rise of Social Robots – Meet Jibo the Family Robot


(E) Famous M.I.T. Professor Cynthia Breazeal, took a leave of absence from the Media Lab to work and launch her company and first commercial robot Jibo. She also announced a crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo.

Jibo does not have a human face and does not have legs. And it looks like the Pixar’s lamp. And like the Pixar’s lamp, Jibo expresses its emotions with its face, sounds, and body. Jibo like Apple’s Siri is driven mostly by voice conversations with humans but Jibo can see with two high-resolution cameras while Siri cannot.

Jibo is positioned as a family robot that can coordinate various tasks for the entire family while being capable of providing tailored attention to seniors and kids. I guess a cloud-based app for a smartphone, that would be shared among multiple users, could provide most of Jibo functions (without its body movements of course). And, since Jibo does not move, you might have to find the best spot in the house to get help from Jibo.

Developers will be able to develop Jibo’s apps using JavaScript APIs to access Jibo’s sensory systems and a Web-based IDE.

The home edition of Jibo will be offered for $499. Developer units will be available later this year, a Jibo apps store will open in Q3 2015, and consumer units will be available starting December 2015.

Jibo’s Brain and Sensors:

Platform: embedded Linux-based
Processor: high-end ARM-based mobile
Sensors: 2 color stereo cameras, 360° sound localization, full body touch sensors
Movement: 3 full-revolute axes high-resolution encoder feedback control
Display: HD LCD touchscreen
Sound: 2 premium speakers
Lighting: full-spectrum ambient LED
Language: US English
Network: WiFi & Bluetooth

Jibo’s Body:

Size: approx. 11″ tall, 6″ base
Weight: approx. 6 lbs.
Material: aluminum, ABS plastic, glass
Power: AC adapter & battery-ready

JIbo’s Skills:

Intelligent and hands-free:
Politely reminds you of important tasks and events to help you stay on top of things.
Recognizes you and each member of your household, to deliver the right messages to the right people at the right time & place.

Emotional connector:
Uses natural cues like movement, speech, and smile detection to know when someone’s posing for a picture.
A see-and-track camera makes it easy to turn and look at people, to support video calling as if you are in the room.

Fun & supportive:
Sound effects, graphics, and physical movements make a responsive and interactive storytelling experience.
Physical presence with helpfulness and heart, JIBO will put a smile on your face and make you feel better.

Note: The picture above is from the Jibo’s launch.

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