Jibo made its way to Indiegogo 3 years ago as a crowdfunded robot. The project raised more than $3.5 million, and it is now finally ready to make its way to the willing buyers as shipping starts on November 7th. The 11-inch tall countertop robot was initially set to make its way to the market back in 2015, but some unexpected setbacks pushed the date to the year 2017.
The family assistant that can distinguish between different voices and faces, with an adorable personality to boot. Jibo has two cameras on the front of his head, which can be used to identify up to 16 people. Jibo will turn his head to face a sound and listen to who is talking in the room. If he detects motion, he will scan to see who it is and greet that family member by name.
Jibo’s founder and chief scientist, Cynthia Breazeal, is an MIT professor who spent her career researching ways of how computers can interact more naturally with humans. That’s why this stationary, 6-pound bot is downright charming out of the box. He’s packed with witty banter, bubbly animations and a rotating body and head that makes him seem more alive.
Jibo’s round body and head both can rotate to make it seem like he’s looking around a room. His face is simply an animated, bouncy dot displayed on a 5-inch screen. Jibo also reacts to touch. Placing a hand on top of his head will silence him. Similarly, a hand near his head also makes him purr. And like typical assistants, you’ll need to say a wake-up phrase “Hey, Jibo” to get his attention before asking a question or giving a command.
Even though it does not perform all the tasks you would expect from a smart assistant, more features will be added via software updates. Also, Jibo was meant to be more a companion than an assistant and it accomplishes that wonderfully. The video shows what Jibo can do up till now