For every household that has children, pets, parents and maybe some other relatives living in the household, what's the only thing missing to make the family complete?
It must be Jibo, the family robot. Standing about a foot tall and weighing in at a svelte 6 pounds, this plastic pal is the drone that doesn't drone on. It's also an esthetically appealing mechanized friend, suiting the décor in any home. It is a stationary robot -- no rambling about the house for this guy.
Jibo, whose qualities exude friendliness, intelligence and handiness, can be the electronic eyes, ears, voice, consoler, teacher and personal assistant for everyone under your roof.
As a personal assistant, Jibo keeps track of calendar events and to-do lists, and prompts its owner when it's time to act. It distributes messages to each member of the household, using its ability to recognize each individual distinctly.
Jibo detects movement, speech and smiling to determine the optimal opportunity for picture-taking. It will support video calling by intuitively focusing on each individual involved in a discussion, as naturally as if the caller was in the room.
Jibo is also a storyteller. It uses sound effects, graphics and empathetic and appropriate movements to participate in any discussion.
Getting started with Jibo first requires a connection to the household's Wi-Fi network. The user then teaches Jibo to recognize his or her face and voice. Then, download and install the Jibo mobile app -- for iOS or Android -- to connect Jibo to mobile devices. Jibo can also interface with laptop and desktop PCs. Next year, Jibo will be expandable with physical accessories and software upgrades and applications.
Jibo's guts include two color stereo cameras, full body touch sensors, an HD LCD 5.7-inch touchscreen, two premium speakers, a high-end ARM-based mobile processor, and full spectrum ambient LED lighting. Jibo's structure is made from aluminum, ABS plastic and glass.
Jibo can shimmy with the best of them, courtesy of three full-revolute axes and 360 degrees of sound localization. The power behind Jibo is an AC adapter or battery, and its brain is an embedded Linux-based platform. It uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to reach out to the world.
Jibo's cameras recognize and track faces, take pictures and enable video calling. Its microphones and language processing coding lets users talk to Jibo from anywhere within earshot. Jibo speaks in a pleasant, humanized voice and its artificial intelligence algorithms enable it to learn users' quirks, habits and preferences. Its body movements are supple and very unrobot-like.
Jibo is still being perfected, but through a crowdsourcing campaign consumers can purchase the current beta version for $499. Developers pay $599 for the robot plus an SDK.