Because of the high pricing and limited functionality, robotic technology is in a slow and challenging development path. There are some smart robotic appliances in market, but one common weakness they share is that they are all single-use, dumb and hereby a little bit boring.
Well, maybe Jibo can finally change this.
Jibo is considered as the world’s first family robot. He is not a single-purpose robot that has only one skill; he doesn’t just help you with your daily routines quietly; he recognizes everyone in your family, knows everyone’s needs and interests, and he even chats to you at dinner. Yes, he is a social robot. Thus, he is neither just a tool nor a toy; he can perhaps become a new member of your family.
Jibo is about 11 inches (28cm) tall, with a 6-inch base. He weighs around 6 pounds (2.7 kg). Jibo’s face is a 5.7 inches touchscreen. A number of stereo cameras, speaker and microphones are hidden inside the touchscreen. Jibo’s body contains three parts, each part can be motor-driven through 360 degrees. Jibo’s body is fully touch sensitive, which means you can interact with Jibo by touching him, patting him on the head, or poking his belly.
According to Indiegogo.com, this smart robot has the following main functions:
- See: Jibo is able to recognize and track human faces, so he is a photographer. He can capture photos automatically and enable immersive video calling.
- Hear: Jibo can hear you and understand you! He has a language processing system that allows you to talk to him from anywhere in the room.
- Learn: the artificial intelligence algorithm is an essential part of a robot. Jibo can learn your preferences, remember them and adapt them into your life.
- Speak: Jibo can talk. He has pretty strong speech synthesis software. He proactively reminds you of important tasks and events. And he is a good friend to your children, as he can read and tell bed stories.
- Help: Jibo is your personal assistant. Not only does Jibo recognize you, but also he knows each member of your family. He helps you deliver the right messages to the right person at the right time.
There are no conventional buttons or commands to learn with Jibo, which means the setup process is very simple; all you have to do is to connect Jibo to your Wi-Fi network, and teach Jibo to recognize your voice and face. Then you can simply talk to him as if he is a little boy.
The uniqueness of Jibo is that he brings expression and communication to everything he does. He is an interactive companion, bringing technology and convenience to household with personal and emotive engagement.
“Jibo is the first in a new class of family robotics that will humanize information, apps and services, and ultimately will help people and families affordably address fundamental human needs that require high-touch engagement for the best human outcomes like education, independent aging and health management in the convenience of their home,” said Jibo’s founder, Cynthia Breazeal. Dr. Breazeal is the pioneer of social robotics and a MIT professor. She believes that emotive computing can support and extend human relationships.
Jibo is currently just a prototype. The designing team is now raising funds on Indiegogo. This innovative robot has received $1,215,404 from thousands of backers. According to Crowdfund Insider, Jibo’s $100,000 initial goal was reached within the first day of the campaign. It seems that lots of people are expecting this cool invention.
When it’s released, the cost for a home edition Jibo will be $500, while a developer Jibo with the SDK will be $600. Let’s welcome the world’s first family robot to come to market in late 2015 or early 2016!