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A home robot for the price of a tablet


Stashed in: Robots!, Indiegogo, AI

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The target price is $500.

For the price of a tablet, Jibo will be your personal secretary. Once linked to your various email and phone accounts, Jibo can relay texts and phone calls to you.

Today the Jibo team is accepting pre-preorders and launching a round of crowdsourced funding so it can bring Jibo to market in 2015.

Sure there are a variety of apps that will alert you with a ping, but Jibo will actually talk to you. “Excuse me, Ann,” Jibo says in a demo video. Then he waits for Ann to respond before delivering a reminder that a friend is coming to pick her up in half an hour.

As you can see in the video, Jibo also provides next-level video chatting. Equipped with touch and audio sensors, Jibo’s face turns to the person who’s talking, making conversation feel like it’s happening in-person. Jibo also takes pictures and has a reading app, so you can upload books to Jibo’s library and he’ll do an interactive reading with cartoon images of characters and events and character-appropriate voices.

Jibo is a Cynthia Breazeal project. Breazeal directs the Personal Robots group at MIT’s Media Lab and developed the emotional robot Kismet. She’s worked on humanoids and other robots, but her real interests lay in robots that can communicate like we do, and she’s brought together a pretty amazing team to bring her vision to life.

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