Have you bought a Jibo? Would you? Here’s an excerpt of my interview with Jibo’s inventor, Dr. Cynthia Breazeal.
The daughter of two computer scientists, Dr Cynthia Breazeal once aspired to become an astronaut. Then she discovered social robotics, deemed it “much cooler” than space and set out to “humanise technology so that it’s warm, not beeping at you, and treats you like a human being”. Enter Jibo, the MIT professor’s latest robot: intended for families, Jibo is currently priced for pre-ordering at around the price of an iPad. (Jibo, Inc. raised $25.3m in Series A funding earlier this year). Jibo is also intended as a platform for developers to create social robot apps. With its streamlined, sleek design, price point and its nascent app marketplace, Jibo could very well do for consumer robotics what the iPhone did for mobile phones. Here, Dr. Breazeal holds forth on how insect intelligence led her to eschew space robotics and why she refuses to let her house “feel like the Starship Enterprise”.