25 million $ for Jibo, the little ‘social’ robot

JiboIs it really a robot with only a 3-axis of freedom? In any case, Jibo is the connected object that is talking about him. Project has hardbound on Indiegogo where the little robot recorded 4.800 preorders and pocketed nearly $ 2.3 million against $100,000 expected at the outset, is one of the 5 best campaigns on crowdfundingsite. Since then, investors have fought literally to buy part of the start-up capital. Jibo Inc. ended up closing a fundraising of $ 25 million, and funds have placed Steven Chambers, former president of sales of Nuance, at the head of the adventure. What is anything else of a tablet on a swivel is preparing to conquer the planet.

The Jibo will be priced $500 at the end of year


The “Huge Design” Agency signed the unexpected appearance of Jibo.

Designed by Dr. Cynthia Breazeal, Professor of Robotics from MIT, Jibo is derived from the crossing of a Nabaztag, R2D2 and the robot alien Eve of the Wall-E film. This ‘social’ robot, that its designers intended for family use attracted the public on Indiegogo. It also ignited the investors. The project is to raise $ 25 million to multiple funds, CRV, Flybridge Capital Partners, Two Sigma Investments, but also Samsung Ventures. That’s 10 million more than expected! The startup of Boston, cradle of U.S. Robotics, will be able to accelerate the development of its robot and move to his large scale industrialization.
That is what explains this success, while the idea of a robot family is not new. His distant ancestor, the Nabaztag by Violet date of 2005 and just being arrested by Aldebaran Robotics. Firstly, Jibo is extremely expressive, whether by his body language by its screen. Immediately, the robot seems friendly, fun, ready to help. It is the exact opposite of Amazon Echo, the intelligent micro launched by Amazon a few weeks ago, or the Welcome camera presented on the these by Netatmo. Objects close enough to the Jibo, but totally expressionless, design functionality, in a word: boring. The Agency “Huge Design’ has done the job, and applications seem convincing. Jibo is more than a robot, is a lesson in user experience.

A robot, but above all a development platform

The designers at work on the prototype of Jibo.

The designers at work on the prototype of Jibo.

Jibo, it is also a platform. Users, the community of the Makers will be able to develop applications for the robot, “Skills” in house terminology. In the third quarter, an app store should area its appearance and the developer propose their achievements. Jibo will provide an SDK, the JiboAlive Toolkit to create graphically small applications and an JiboAlive SDK for developers. Jibo running Linux, Hackers are going to heart joy to imagine new uses to the robot.
Technologically, Jibo seems more ambitious that its small size is no indication. It is totally devoid of button, its screen and the top of the head are tactile, but the robot is controlled with the voice. It is able to recognize his interlocutor and obey orders. It can read voice messages, use sticky notes, stopwatch, videophone (the application will be on the app store in the summer 2015), screen to e-commerce sites. Its monitoring of scene allows use of smart camera, especially since the recognition of faces must, in principle, then follow “from the gaze’ someone said. Finally, Jibo must be able to control the objects connect from home, but for the time being no trace of the robot on IFTTT, or official information on the “Smart Home” standards that will be borne by the robot.
Jibo Inc. has started to deliver its first customers/supporters Indiegogo and if commands flock, but the ramp-up of production will take place in 2016 date that should find Jibo on large e-commerce and in the traditional distribution sites.

Translation : Bing Translator

Sources :

“Robot-maker Jibo Inc. raises $25M, taps former Nuance exec as CEO”, Boston Business Journal, January 21, 2015

“JIBO, World’s First Family Robot Is Preparing to Meet You”, Smashing Robotics, December 19 2014

“Programming Your Own Jibo”, Jibo Blog, July 29, 2014

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