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Meet Jibo, the family robot

Jibo is a robot with a role in the family, his creators say. This 11-inch tall helper can take messages, call for takeout, and read to the kids when mom and dad are beat after a hard day.
Lois M. Collins, Deseret News Modified: July 17, 2014 at 2:37 am •  Published: July 20, 2014

If you're a mom or dad who'd like a little extra help — perhaps reminders or someone to order takeout while you change clothes, or even help reading to the kids when you're tied up — you might like Jibo.

Jibo is an 11-inch tall robot created by MIT professor and social robotics pioneer Cynthia Breazeal. She calls it the "first family robot."

"We're about humanizing technology," Breazeal told USA Today's Edward C. Baig.

In a promotional video, Jibo is depicted reminding a woman that her ride will be there in 20 minutes, ordering takeout for a young man and chatting with a little girl, among other things. He's a great cameraman, apparently.

Writes Braig, "As it turns out, that debut is going to take a while. Jibo's slated arrival isn't until the fall of 2015, more than a year away. Breazeal is trying to get the development and early adopter communities jazzed in advance."

Mashable describes it this way: "At first glance, Jibo looks like a mashup between a desk lamp and Wall-E’s 'EVE.' It has a round base that plugs into a standard AC outlet, a slightly cone-shaped midsection and a round head with a flat front that sits on top of it. That dark, round face features a 5.7-inch screen. The design is attractive, but not necessarily compelling — that is, until Jibo comes to life."

The robot uses voice, a changeable display and "body" movements to appear lifelike, though not humanlike.

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