Jibo was founded by Cynthia Breazeal, the famed roboticist at MIT’s Media Lab and a pioneer of social robotics. Jibo is designed as an interactive companion and helper to families. Breazeal says Jibo is unique because of its emotion and its ability to treat you like a human being. Jibo will come equipped with an initial set of apps that will allow it to play different roles, including a photographer that can track faces and take pictures so you can be in the photos. Jibo can also be an assistant who reminds family members of their schedules.
Three years after raising more than $3.6 million on a crowdfunding campaign, Jibo the social robot is now available for the public to buy. Pre-ordered units will start shipping to customers in November.
Jibo has partnered with Ling Technology to bring a localized version of the social robot to China in 2017. Jibo will supply the hardware and Ling will handle the software to ensure the robot aligns with Chinese culture.
Jibo won't ship to customers in 2016. In an email update to its Indiegogo backers, CEO Steve Chambers says Jibo's second in-home beta test "shed light on some important technical challenges we must overcome."
Pre-launch versions of Jibo the social robot will start shipping to backers in November on a first-ordered, first-received basis. The hardware will be finalized on the pre-launch version of Jibo, but the software will not be finalized. No timeframe was set for when fully-functioning Jibo will ship.