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Design and Development
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Meet Jibo: A Social Robot Designed to be Part of Your Family
Jibo can tell stories to kids, automatically take photos when you pose, provide reminders for calendar entries, and much more.
By Steve Crowe - Filed Jul 17, 2014

More Design and Development stories
Cynthia Breazeal, an MIT professor and pioneer of social robotics, has unveiled Jibo, a desktop-sitting robot that is designed to be an interactive companion and helper to families.

Dubbed "the world's first family robot," the 11-inch-tall robot will have a variety of abilities that will help people manage their daily duties.

Jibo has a 6-inch base and weighs around six pounds, made mostly of aluminium and white plastic. Jibo’s face mainly consists of a 5.7-inch touchscreen with a couple of stereo cameras that can recognize faces, stereo speakers, and stereo microphones. By the 2015 holiday season, there will be a mobile app compatible with iOS and Android devices, as well as a web interface so you can interact via computer.

Jibo is still in the developmental stages, but the company has already raised nearly $400,000 on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo, easily surpassing its goal of $100,000. Starting today, Jibo is available for pre-order on Indiegogo for $499 and will ship during the 2015 holiday season. A developer package is available for $599 and will ship in the fall of 2015.

The website io9 nicely rounded up what the Jibo is expected to do:

Assistant: Politely reminds you of important tasks and events to help you stay on top of things. 

Messenger: Recognizes you and each member of your household, to deliver the right messages to the right people at the right time & place.

Photographer: Uses natural cues like movement, speech, and smile detection to know when someone's posing for a picture.

Avatar: See-and-track camera makes it easy to turn and look at people, to support video calling as if you are in the room.

Storyteller: Sound effects, graphics and physical movements make a responsive and interactive storytelling experience.

Companion: Physical presence with helpfulness and heart, JIBO will put a smile on your face and make you feel better.

Breazeal tells IEEE Spectrum that "the purpose of doing the crowdfunding campaign right now is we want to build a community. We want to engage people who want to have Jibo in their home and those who want to develop for it. We’re early enough in our development cycle that we can take that input and we can be responsive to it."




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