Turning to crowdfunding with the hope to raise Jibo awareness, as well as the social robotics movement as a whole, Jibo founder and CEO, Dr. Cynthia Breazeal has been overwhelmed by the positive responses.
Currently, Jibo can be an assistant, messenger, photographer, avatar, storyteller, and companion.
While these are some of Jibo’s current abilities, the company designed the robot with an imbedded Linux-based software so developers can customize, adding new capabilities in the future.
Jibo went through several iterations before the team settled on a final design. Attaining the robot’s current simplicity was one of the most difficult challenges throughout the product development process.
Weighing six pounds, the robot stands 11 inches tall with a six-inch base. The team experimented with a variety of glass, metals, and plastics, to achieve a sturdy and lightweight design. The final iteration uses aluminum, ABS plastic, and glass for the face/screen. Sitting on a charging pad, it can run on battery power for up to 30 minutes.
The best place to set Jibo is where most of the household activities happen, such as in the kitchen or family rooms.
These photos originally appeared in the January/February 2015 print edition of PD&D.