JIBO robot could become part of the family

Jul 17, 2014 by Nancy Owano weblog

JIBO, measuring at about 11 inches tall and weighing approximately 6 pounds, is a robotic device designed for people to use as a companion and helper at home. , The team behind JIBO aims to bring it to market in time for the 2015 holiday season. The JIBO does not make sandwiches, or popcorn, or clean the carpet or open jar lids. JIBO sits and, in the context of those trying to put a human face on technology, JIBO can emotionally connect. JIBO, in interacting with a younger child, can be a responsive storyteller and playmate. JIBO can take a family picture. JIBO can remind the busy cook in the kitchen that an appointment is fast approaching. Does JIBO ever get off the counter or desk to walk or move about on wheels? The answer is No. According to the creators, it is best to place "him" in a room where most of your household activities are happening or where JIBO's assistance is most needed. Did we say "his?" The video refers to JIBO as "he." JIBO is "gendered male," according to the team.

The robot has a youthful male voice and speaks American English. The JIBO concept involves recognizing and tracking faces, understanding speech, and adjusting its behavior based on individual family members. JIBO was developed by roboticist Dr. Cynthia Breazeal, founder and CEO of JIBO. A report about her effort in IEEE Spectrum noted that she has assembled an impressive team, with backgrounds in speech recognition, natural language, user interaction, gaming and animation.

In a promotional video of JIBO, the narration says "he" is the world's best cameraman; by intelligently tracking the action around it. The robot in addition to tracking faces and snapping pictures also offers to order takeout and relays messages.

JIBO, at this stage, is a prototype, not finished product. At the time of this writing the Indiegogo campaign for JIBO, which started on Wednesday, passed their $100,000 goal, having raised $310,318, with 30 days left to go.

The robot home edition is going for $499, to ship December 2015. The developer edition is $599 with SDK, and its estimated delivery date is September 2015, The developer edition is one of the benefits anticipated from the crowdfunded campaign. The goal is for developers to work on JIBO too, to expand its functions. Developers will be able to create apps in JavaScript and access JIBO's functions through the SDK. "The purpose of doing the crowdfunding campaign right now is we want to build a community," she said in IEEE Spectrum "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."

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

A "next wave" of computing will be around emotion. She said she found people wanted to treat JIBO as someone, not something. She said people told her the difference between a tablet and JIBO is, according to her, that JIBO fits in like part of the family. "JIBO's warm, JIBO's friendly," she said.

The robot is powered by an ARM processor and runs Linux, reported IEEE Spectrum, "It has two cameras, which allow it to detect and track people, a microphone array for sound localization, and touch sensors on the body." IEEE Spectrum also said it uses WiFi for connectivity and will be typically plugged in for power, but with a battery, not included, it will be able to operate for around 30 minutes.

Explore further: OutRunner robot steered to fast track with Kickstarter

More information: www.myjibo.com/

Related Stories

OutRunner robot steered to fast track with Kickstarter

May 12, 2014

A startup in Pensacola, Florida, Robotics Unlimited, is turning to crowdfunding for their remote controlled fast robot called OutRunner. Running along, their robot can move up to 20 mph over different kinds ...

Big to tiny robots on risky ground: You go first

Jun 12, 2014

Researchers have suggested an approach for protecting expensive components in big robots when on difficult terrain. Send in little, inexpensively made robots ahead of them as scouts. Whether the unanticipated ...

SXSW revelation: Android SDK for wearables

Mar 11, 2014

(Phys.org) —If all the world eventually gets to love wearable computing gear then Google will be most gratified to know that all the world will love wearables running Android. Signs are in the air that, ...

Recommended for you

A robot prepared for self-awareness

4 hours ago

A year ago, researchers at Bielefeld University showed that their software endowed the walking robot Hector with a simple form of consciousness. Their new research goes one step forward: they have now developed ...

Future US Navy: Robotic sub-hunters, deepsea pods

Mar 28, 2015

The robotic revolution that transformed warfare in the skies will soon extend to the deep sea, with underwater spy "satellites," drone-launching pods on the ocean floor and unmanned ships hunting submarines.

Festo has BionicANTs communicating by the rules for tasks

Mar 27, 2015

Germany-based automation company Festo, focused on technologies for tasks, turns to nature for inspiration, trying to take the cues from how nature performs tasks so efficiently. "Whether it's energy efficiency, ...

Virtual robotization for human limbs

Mar 26, 2015

Recent advances in computer gaming technology allow for an increasingly immersive gaming experience. Gesture input devices, for example, synchronise a player's actions with the character on the screen. Entertainment ...

Robots on reins could be the 'eyes' of firefighters

Mar 25, 2015

Researchers at King's College London have developed revolutionary reins that enable robots to act like guide dogs, which could enable that firefighters moving through smoke-filled buildings could save vital ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

3 / 5 (2) Jul 17, 2014
5 / 5 (1) Jul 17, 2014
"JIBO sits and, in the context of those trying to put a human face on technology, JIBO can emotionally connect."

I guess in the same sense as a pillow "can" comfort a crying person. Another product that will mainly end up contributing to electronic waste.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.