What is a social robot supposed to look like? We have asked ourselves this question many times during the last year. HUGE design was fortunate enough to be partnered with the Jibo team and tasked with creating the industrial design/look and feel for Jibo. At first, it seemed that our lack of experience designing anything remotely close to a robot might be a problem. We quickly learned however that this product needed to be unlike any existing robot, and a fresh industrial design was going to be a crucial part in defining this new socially charged experience for users.
On July 15th, Jibo launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo with the goal of raising $100,000 towards developing their new social robot for the home. Less than one week later, Jibo surpassed the $1M mark, with hundreds of pre-orders made for both the home and developers editions.
JIBO, a 2013 Boston startup, launched an IndieGoGo campaign last week and is off to a rousing start, lots of favorable press, and, as of the time of this writing, has raised more than $700,000 over their $100,000 goal.
Cynthia Breazeal’s Jibo launched today and coming on the heels of Pepper, Aldebaran and Softbank’s new social robot, and Jimmy from Intel. It seems like we’re seeing a second wave of social robots. Jibo is less of a humanoid than the others though and more of a human mirror, being able to be a telepresence device or a social robot. Jibo will be an open platform and is currently taking preorders via Indiegogo, with an expected shipping date of Sept 2015 for the developer edition.
It is a fantastic time for technology. We live in a more connected world, and compared to even a few decades ago, we have vastly improved access to information and content, and have dramatically expanded our ability to connect with one another in interesting new ways to socialize despite time and distance.