Making the rounds today is news of Jibo, the "World's First Family Robot". Available for preorder at the introductory price of $499, Jibo is capable of acting as:
It's that last title that has me a bit creeped out. According to the Jibo website, the robot will offer:
Physical presence with helpfulness and heart, JIBO will put a smile on your face and make you feel better.
There are many days when I feel like I could use the help of a robot. But if I were going to add one to my household, I would want it to:
- Drive me places
Obviously, Jibo's minimal price point keeps it from doing such complex tasks, as described today in Business Insider:
Jibo doesn't have any mobility or manipulation capabilities — it can't pick up dropped items and you'll need to physically move it from place to place — but Dr. Breazeal told us that this is a very intentional design for keeping its price point low. Mobility and manipulation are among the more complex parts of robot design, and a functional stationary robot may help set the stage for a time when people welcome autonomous mobile robots into the home with open arms.
Jibo runs a Linux-based system to facilitate some cool at-home capabilities. You can check them out in the video above (along with a comment from Dr. Breazeal) for more on this, but the highlights are below. Developers are also welcome to get in on the action to create Jibo apps (which are called "Skills").
I'm pondering today whether the introduction of any kind of robot into my home is something I'd ever do. As a geek, I'm always intrigued by tools that help me be more effective in my various roles. I would imagine that the more I think about Jibo, the more likely I am to talk myself into needing one.
But I still wish it could clean the toilet...
Your turn: Would you buy a robot for your home? What tasks do you wish it would do? Will you consider a "Jibo" for your home?