Meet Jibo, the smart personal assistant, cameraman, video portal and educator. Created from the brains at MIT this might be the most human robot yet, and it's coming to your home soon.
Currently on Indiegogo, Jibo has already smashed its $100,000 goal in just four hours with nearly $900,000 raised at the time of publishing on its fourth day. The reason for such popularity? This represents the first real smart home robot that can assist in making life easier, while injecting a little personality.
Thanks to the three-axis motors the robot seems to move like Pixar's little light character. It also has a realistic sounding voice that should respond to casually spoken voice commands. It looks like the hub to the smart home that is on its way soon.
Jibo uses an HD LCD touchscreen for a face and interface but you'll likely not need to touch it as it also uses 360-degree microphones to hear your commands and stereo speakers to reply. Its brain uses artificial intelligence algorithms to adapt to your lifestyle, learning what you like and helping to make that happen. And its dual hi-res cameras can recognise and track faces – making it ideal for taking photos or following you during video calls.
As seen in the video Jibo will spot you coming home and turn the lights on, then ask if you want to order take-away and if you say yes it can repeat your regular order. It will then alert you to messages from anyone, should you want to adapt your order. How well that will actually work isn't clear but the idea is great.
Jibo appears plugged in but in different positions in the video, which would mean a bit of an effort moving it about. But on the Indiegogo site Jibo is listed as being "battery ready" which will make moving it about much easier.
To get Jibo in your life you'll have to commit $499, almost £300, to receive one in 2015 at Christmas time ahead of general release in 2016. If you don't mind the wait until 2016 you can pre-order one now with $199, about £118, and pay the balance of $349, about £205, when it ships in 2016.