Available by December 2015, Jibo promises to be the worlds first family robot.
Featuring the ability to recognize faces, read and tell stories, take family photos, and deliver hands-free messages, Jibo aims to be the family companion you didn’t know you needed. Developed by MIT professor Dr. Cynthia Breazeal, Jibo aims to be available by 2015.
Involved in MIT’s Personal Robots Group, Dr. Breazeal has been focused on the development of social robots now for several years. Best known for her creation of the robot Leonardo, created in collaboration with special effects experts at the Stan Winston Studio, Leonardo was designed to demonstrate that robots will never be human or animals. As she states, “robots will be their own kind of creature and should be accepted, measured, and valued on those terms.”That said, Jibo is anything but ordinary looking. With an aesthetic similar to that of a 1960’s television, the robot measures in at 11 inches tall, with a six-inch base. Underneath its white exterior though lies Bluetooth, WiFi, and an array of other technologies for connecting our lives.
One does have to think though that a robot that takes picture, reads email, and displays video sounds like, well…any smartphone or tablet. Breazeal explains though that “with Jibo, however, he’s not a camera — he plays the role of a cameraman. So as robot, you can ask Jibo to take photos on your behalf … Now photo capture can be done in a new way that provides real value to people, because [let's] face it, we want to be in the picture, too.” That said, the Jibo doesn’t seem to be equipped with any wheels, so it’s not as if it can intelligently follow you around. You’ll still have to bring it with you to where you’re having a social function. Much like you could a camera with timer, really. And hey, my phone takes a picture when I say the word ‘cheese’, so it’s not as if I’ve never been able to take a picture of myself.
This all said, Jibo’s Indigogo campaign has smashed through its target goal, earning 10x what the creators originally wanted. It currently sits at $1,131,998 USD, and the campaign doesn’t seem to be slowing with 23 days to go.
Who knows, maybe there’s room for a little robot in your life.
Editor’s Note – There is only one REAL family robot…
Images: MGM, Jibo