Instead of asking for little brothers or sisters, maybe kids would be better off with robotic companion and home helper. The creators of JIBO thought that this might the case in modern families…
…and to be frank, they might as well be right! After all, small babies are noisy and ever-demanding, while a robot is quite and only interacts with you when needed. At 11 inches in height and 6 pounds in weight, JIBO is totally inconspicuous when people aren’t willing to interact with it, and emotionally available when they do. In other words, it’s not good for house chores, but it can connect emotionally.
When interacting with children, JIBO is the perfect playmate or storyteller. Besides that, he handles notifications quite nicely, and can take family pictures whenever the crowd feels like it. In some ways, it’s just like Google Now: what you need, when you need it. Just don’t expect him to wash the dishes, as your expectations might be shattered.
More importantly, JIBO is not even able to move around. Because of that fact, his developers suggest that families should place it in the room where most of their activities take place. JIBO is indeed a male robot, or at least that’s what the following video suggests. He talks in an American English accent, and has animations that will melt the hearts of adults, while keeping the ones of kids ever warm.
Supposing that your family and JIBO speak the same language, there shouldn’t be any problems in interacting with it. He is able to understand speech, and can recognize (and probably tag) faces. This makes him not only the world’s best family robot, but also the world’s best cameraman.
Since JIBO passed the initial goal of $100K that his developers had set on Indiegogo, anyone who pledged $499 or more should expect to receive their family robot in December 2015. A developer’s edition will be available in September 2015 for the ones who backed the project with at least $599. People seem anxious to add a metallic family member, as this crowdfunding campaign was really successful. The 483% raised funds to initial goal ratio speaks volumes about how much some want to have JIBO in their families.
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