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Jibo Social Robot Blog – Questions & Answers

Jibo Social Robot Blog

The Jibo Social Robot Blog

The Jibo Social Robot - Finally, emotive robotics


The Jibo heralds in the first era of useful and emotive robotics. It’s not a robot butler like the world is waiting for, but it does look both functional, packed with potential and most importantly a character. If Jibo does well, and so far things are looking promising expect a decade of very interesting developments in the world of home robotics.

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Can technology really be part of the family?

There seems to be a wave of robotics in technology right now, and out of them all the Jibo social robot looks to be leading the line when it comes to family integration. The question is, how close can they get? Find out what people are saying about Jibo below.

The Top Questions about Jibo?

How much does Jibo the social robot cost?

The price is $749, and impressively it hasn’t changed since it was originally announced on IndieGoGo. The Jibo creators haven’t made the same pricing mistakes as the Keecker HomePod, specifically where they offered a discount during crowdfunding and then tried to sell it at a much lower price on their website once the initial funding was complete.

When will Jibo be available to buy?

Jibo has recently been delayed, “We are making great progress on Jibo, but we won’t start delivering him in the March/April timeframe as previously communicated. We know this is disappointing. We want to ensure your experience with your Jibo is amazing, and we need more time than we anticipated to achieve this goal.” You can read the full announcement here. Currently those who backed Jibo during the IndieGoGo campaign have an estimated delivery date of October 2016. Pre-orders afterwards will be delivered on a first-ordered, first-served basis and a retail release has yet to be announced.

How is a social robot different to other smart devices?

We can only review based on what has been demonstrated, and from what we’ve seen the main difference is immediacy and reaction. By immediacy, we mean the difference between Siri and Alexa is nominal in terms of functions but by making one always listening, the Echo is elevated beyond just technology. It becomes part of your life, and the Jibo seems to be taking that always listening approach, but adding always watching and always connected. All of this, combined with motions that make reactions feel emotive creates a personality. Communicating with technology is uncomfortable at times, but by giving it a face and a character the whole experience becomes natural, even social. We’ve already seen how social this voice command technology can be with the Echo, and the Jibo looks to be building a lot more on to that kind of experience.

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Where can I find the official video about Jibo?

Can the Jibo replace my home technologies?

From the explanations and demonstrations the answer is no. Jibo is more about combining your technologies into a social robotic interface. It will even use an app on smart devices, or the web to define its skills (apps).

Is the Jibo a robotic butler?

It’s more a robotic assistant than a butler. It’s not going to make you coffee, or hang a picture but it can take photographs at request or provide updates amongst other features. It’s static, so think of Jibo like a smart device hub that requires WiFi, it will feed off your other smart devices and connect to the Jibo cloud for storage. Expect it to get smarter and have an ever growing ecosystem of features, via Skills, which is what the Jibo developers are calling the Jibo apps.

What do others say about Jibo the social robot?

There is no doubt, people are impressed. Here’s what some have said:

  • “Jibo’s potential extends far beyond engaging in casual conversation and completing daily tasks.” – Yahoo News
  • “This Friendly Robot Could One Day Be Your Family’s Personal Assistant” – WIRED
  • “Jibo isn’t an appliance, it’s a companion, one that can interact and react with its human owners in ways that delight.“ – Mashable

However the delays have caused a lot of the early backers to demand a refund. This can be seen in the comments on IndieGoGo after their official announcement in April 2016. Usually a call for refunds would be a worry, but Jibo managed to raise $25.3 million in financing for their social robot in January 2015 and although it’s taken nearly two years since their September 2014 IndieGoGo campaign the Jibo seems to be getting closer to release.

What kind of apps will be on the Jibo?

We have some app titles already, JiboSnap, JiboWatch, JiboMeet, JiboJot, and JiboStory. Whether Jibo will try to compete or even connect to the Amazon Echo or Google Chromecast is unsure, but as an interactive and emotive hub it could be exciting to see Jibo pick a movie or music station based on what it learns about those in the home, it would be even better if it looks disapprovingly as you watch something unsuitable or critically bad. We do expect there to be a JiboJoke and perhaps even JiboDance skill though. Who wouldn’t want to watch Jibo do standup.

What social actions is the Jibo limited to?

The breadth of possibilities is uncertain at this point. What we know is that it’s able to see, listen, react, emote to some capacity and connect to WiFi. So expect Jibo to provide any and all notifications you could get from a smart watch. We can see that video messaging is a definite feature, and know that voice commands will cause Jibo to react. We know that Jibo will grow with new skills, but we’re wondering how social Jibo will feel once it’s reactions no longer feel charming? If that’s even possible.

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Where can I find a video explaining what Jibo the social robot does?

Why have Jibo over other devices like the Amazon Echo?

The Echo is fantastic. We gave it a 5/5, not because it’s perfect but because on our tech adventure it changed how we experience technology. Jibo looks to deliver the same always on functionality that makes technology immediate and non-disruptive, which is our biggest issue with smartphones in particular. So why pick Jibo, a device that’s seven times the price of an Amazon Echo? We don’t have a reason yet, but if they deliver what they are promising not just consumers, but investors then the Jibo could become more than just a toy. For example, imagine a Jibo able to help direct you through the construction of awkward flat pack furniture? Or if it was able to identify if someone elderly was having a stroke and automatically message for assistance? We’re along way off that but Jibo could be the first in a very interesting series of home robotic stepping stones.

Can I control what Jibo sees and listens too?

This was a common concern when Microsoft first announced that Xbox One would have Kinect always on and listening. Privacy is important and technology is only ever a flip of a switch away from being off. With that in mind, you can tell Jibo to go to sleep and it will turn off the camera. The developers of Jibo say there is no way for a remote user to gain access to a Jibo and that if the camera or microphone is in use the screen will indicate such.

What do the creators say about Jibo?

  • Manage your life, coordinate with your family, and capture special moments, no matter how tech savvy you are.
  • Connect with your friends in a new way, and have fun creating, customizing and sharing with Jibo and the Jibo Toolkit.
  • Attentive companion that can help you live with greater independence and stay connected to those you love.
  • Responsive storyteller and playmate uses movement, animation, and sound to delight you and help you learn.
  • Create new skills and content for Jibo with the JiboSDK. Then post your creations to the Jibo Store for others to enjoy.

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What was the last video announcement from Jibo?

What are the Pros and Cons of Jibo?

  • Sleek in design, emotive in motion and seems feature packed.  
  • The uses are wide and varied, if the Jibo takes off expect the Skill ecosystem to be varied.  
  • The idea of an Amazon Echo that can see and react is exciting. This is exciting robotics. 
  • Its a robot with character. Something that is long overdue.  
  • It’s a high, but possibly fair price point for what it promises to do.
  • Can it compete with top of the line iPads and smart devices?
  • Without Skills (apps) the Jibo will become a very expensive gimmick.  
  • Can the movement retain its charm over a long period of time?