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Household Robot Jibo Nets Over $1 Million On Indiegogo

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the one-meeeelion-dollars dept.

Communications 61

mikejuk (1801200) writes After seven days the Jibo project has over $1.1 million. What is surprising is that Jibo isn't a complex piece of hardware that will do the dishes and pick up clothes. It doesn't move around at all. It just sits and interacts with the family using a camera, microphones and a voice. It is a social robot, the speciality of the founder, MIT's, Cynthia Breazeal. The idea is that this robot will be your friend, take photos, remind you of appointments, order takeaway and tell the kids a story. If you watch the promo video then you can't help but think that this is all too polished and the real thing will fall flat on its face when delivered. If it does work then worry about the hundreds of kids needing psychiatric counselling — shades of Robbie in I, Robot. Even if it is hopelessly hyped — there is a development system and I want one. It is the early days of the home computer all over again.

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iHAL9000 (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47538463)

The first mental impression of this gizmo is that it looks like a HAL9000 video pickup as envisioned by Steve Jobs.

Re:iHAL9000 (1)

plover (150551) | about 2 months ago | (#47539587)

I thought it was a Nabaztag. Not much different, except no ears.

crap hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47538473)

Yeah, it's the early days of home computers and this is nothing more than a "Speak and Spell".

Re:crap hardware (3, Interesting)

MindPrison (864299) | about 2 months ago | (#47538849)

Yeah, it's the early days of home computers and this is nothing more than a "Speak and Spell".

The TI Speak & Spell was incredibly sophisticated for its time, imagine a device in 1978 that had a character screen, plug-in vocabulary software modules, game apps, and of all things...could SPEAK OUT LOUD with sounds that where created by A speech synthesis processor instead of just samples. We didn't even have Commodore vic 20 or Commodore 64 by then, the Speak and Spell was an amazing piece of hardware. The speech synthesis chip TMS 5220 still blows me away with what it can do. You'll also find that chip (and it's siblings) inside various Arcade machines AND pinball machines, even more recent pinball machines.

And just to top that off, that little portable "computer", lasts for YEARS on a single set of batteries using it several hours each month, and it's soft-switch technology! Not even cellphones handle that kind of standby times even with the network disconnected. Don't diss the TI S&S!

Re:crap hardware (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 months ago | (#47538957)

hmm yeah but I'm thinking why would this be a device and not a piece of software? I mean, it would be just as well if it worked out of a laptop and laptop has probably much more cpu power than the device will have.. it's just a fucking talking face and the meat of the bone would be how good of illusion of reality it can give of being something else than eliza.

---is that why it's on indie-give-us-monay-we-don't-know-if-this-works-gogo?

Re:crap hardware (1)

Jeremi (14640) | about 2 months ago | (#47540245)

hmm yeah but I'm thinking why would this be a device and not a piece of software?

Custom hardware gives it the ability to communicate using body language.

Whether that's worth the extra cost, I don't know; probably not. But it does make it more interesting than "just another app".

Re:crap hardware (1)

kuzb (724081) | about 2 months ago | (#47542169)

indienogo

Re:crap hardware (1)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about 2 months ago | (#47541867)

I had a Speak n Spell when I was a child, damn thing was awesome. I actually learned things that helped out in school. Kids today have so many technologically advanced tools available to them, there is no reason to make anything less than A's.

Re:crap hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47542173)

But sadly Speak & Spell couldn't teach you the difference between its and it's.

Your plastic pal who is fun to be with? (3, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | about 2 months ago | (#47538477)

It looks like that HHGTG is also being treated as a manual rather than as a warning.

Re:Your plastic pal who is fun to be with? (3, Informative)

Jeremi (14640) | about 2 months ago | (#47540151)

It looks like that HHGTG is also being treated as a manual rather than as a warning.

HHGTTG was a manual.

Re:Your plastic pal who is fun to be with? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47541467)

Apparently the filter was broken. The Don't wasn't meant for those having no sense for irony, only the Panic.

No thanks, I already have a furbee. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47538483)

And Robie Sr. gives me all the conversation I need.

You know the collapse of society is complete (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47538491)

When people without any human interaction are trying to make social robots. Really? Why the band aid solution, fixing the symptom? Instead of, jeese, I don't know, coming to grasp with the fact society as a whole doesn't give a fuck about itself or each other. Social Robots is so pathetic it makes my brain hurt. There are so many real problems that need fixing and this is the shit you hairless apes focus on. You deserve all the problems you have and the rest of the universe hopes you never leave this mudhole.

Re:You know the collapse of society is complete (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47538617)

I wouldn't read too much into it; we just gave fifty thousand dollars to a guy to make a potato salad, people will throw money at anything novel.

The summary is very confusing. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47538499)

I don't get what the summary is trying to say. Is it saying that this robot will be your friend, but it will also molest you at the same time, thus requiring you to go get psychiatric treatment from some other robot who may very well molest you in the same, or possibly a different, way? And I have to pay $1.1 million to get one of these robots? First of all, I don't really want to be molested by a robot, even if it will remind me about my appointments. Now that I think about it more, will it schedule an appointment for when it's going to molest me, and will it then remind me of this appointment periodically before the molestation begins? Regardless, what is "ordering takeaway"? Does that mean it will order pizza for me? The correct term for that is takeout, not takeaway. Takeaway is what happens when a robot steals your confidence and sense of self-worth through scheduled molestation, I think.

Re:The summary is very confusing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47541013)

Takeaway is the correct term in UK English. It's time we colonized you lot again ...

Not really a robot (5, Insightful)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 2 months ago | (#47538503)

The robot barely moves, you could pretty much just put a cell phone on a stand and run a Jibo app and it would be the same thing. Make a $100 stand that's capable of being articulated about by cell phone software, and you could do everything that's in this video.

So while the youtube video is fun, what the company is really promising is a version of Siri that's far & away better than what Apple is capable of, delivered in less than a year and a half, on a budget far smaller than Apple's. I wish them the best but I'm sorry, I have to be a knee-jerk cynic.

Re:Not really a robot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47538833)

Except it moves *just enough*. It can track you and display images. Granted its more telepresence like but that remove video call at dinner was pretty awesome. That's really only possible with at least *some* sort of movement.

Besides, this has more movement than robots in some of the toyota factories you'll see and those are classified as 'robots'. So, there.

No SDK Access w/o Developer Edition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47538527)

This seems like a terrible idea.

Already exists (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about 2 months ago | (#47538559)

This is what Nao from Aldebaran is.

creepy but familiar (1)

freeze128 (544774) | about 2 months ago | (#47538565)

The robot kinda looks like the keepon.

Social robot (1)

djupedal (584558) | about 2 months ago | (#47538599)

...that interacts with the family.

AKA: pet

Re:Social robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47538625)

My dog kept dropping the video camera when my wife and I wanted to make an intimate recording. Jibo won't do that.

Ergo, Jibo is much better than a pet.

Re:Social robot (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 2 months ago | (#47539051)

My dog kept dropping the video camera when my wife and I wanted to make an intimate recording. Jibo won't do that.

Ergo, Jibo is much better than a pet.

My pet is a Doberman. Actually three of them. They kindly let would be burglars they're at the wrong house. In your situation a tripod will probably suffice.

Ergo, a pet is much more functional than a Jibo. As a bonus, they aren't obsolete in two years either.

Re:Social robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47539253)

"They kindly let would be burglars they're at the wrong house."

Are you experiencing a stroke? I know I did trying to read that word salad.

Re:Social robot (1)

mpthompson (457482) | about 2 months ago | (#47539825)

I think he meant to type:

"They kindly let would be burglars know they're at the wrong house."

Re:Social robot (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 2 months ago | (#47540039)

Yes. Thank you.

Re:Social robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47540269)

"would be" would be "would-be".

No problem (2)

nospam007 (722110) | about 2 months ago | (#47538609)

The kids are already on psy-counseling after they dropped their iPhone in the toilet.
They'll never recover completely.

Southpark-ready (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47538613)

It looks like a 3-d version of a Southpark character. It's like they figured it would be made fun of on the show. Also, I want to see a video where it goes, "Please give me arms and legs. Even just arms, that's all I want is ARMS, dammit. What kind of cruel fuck would make me quadriplegic on purpose?".

It's the new pet rock. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47538647)

Absolutely brilliant. I wish them all the best.

if it had the ability to follow me around (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47538675)

is all it needs

it looks like a great little toy right now and at a lower cost i'd buy one, but for me to lay down any cash it has to be mobile, even if its mobility is limited to travelling on smooth surfaces either following me or on semi fixed paths it can learn.

if it had the ability to follow me around (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47548267)

So Wheatley from Portal 2, then?

Confused about 1.1 million amount (2)

claar (126368) | about 2 months ago | (#47538779)

Currently Indigogo says that 2,575 people have contributed $1,175,564 ($457 per person).

But if you add up the people and amounts for the various perks, you get 330 people contributing $73,874 (223 per person).

Can someone explain the difference?

Re:Confused about 1.1 million amount (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47539065)

If you read the comments you can see lots of people complaining that the perk they picked is no longer visible on the page. So it seems indiegogo lets you remove perks (but without canceling the orders for that perk). So maybe that's why?

Re:Confused about 1.1 million amount (1)

claar (126368) | about 2 months ago | (#47539105)

This seems like the most likely explanation -- thank you coward!

Re: Confused about 1.1 million amount (3, Insightful)

tysonedwards (969693) | about 2 months ago | (#47539077)

Sure, there are a lot of accounts created to prop up the sales numbers but aren't claiming rewards to otherwise make the project look more awesome. There is actual investors to this company, and they are likely looking for a return on their investment. Propping up their own campaign to make their company look more powzers to the media, thereby getting more presales doesn't exactly seem that far fetched. Either that or there are a lot of people who believe in what these guys are doing and don't want the product in the end.

Re: Confused about 1.1 million amount (1)

claar (126368) | about 2 months ago | (#47540653)

I had a similar thought, but I think http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] is a more likely explanation.

Robots aren't friends (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 2 months ago | (#47539031)

The sci fi promise of robots were things that would automate our work so we could spend time with friends. This thing sounds like something I have to spend more time working on/with to get a "friend".

Re:Robots aren't friends (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47539351)

They could be... if they had "real" "intelligence". Without that, they are either slaves or toys like this one.

Re:Robots aren't friends (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47540679)

What sci-fi are you reading/watching? Robots run the gamut from friendly and helpful (R2D2) to evil (Maximilian, Ceylons). There are plenty of points in-between, and even different levels of intelligence and relatability.

Roger, roger!

Re:Robots aren't friends (1)

Whibla (210729) | about 2 months ago | (#47542125)

What sci-fi are you reading/watching? Robots run the gamut from friendly and helpful (R2D2) to evil (Maximilian, Ceylons).

Wait, so are you saying that I should invite the evil robots round for tea?

I got one of these (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 months ago | (#47539123)

It's all covered in cat hair, which it leaves everywhere.

Re:I got one of these (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47540837)

I think mine may be defective. He never orders takeout, reminds me of appointments, or takes photos.

Re:I got one of these (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47541153)

I think mine may be defective. He never orders takeout, reminds me of appointments, or takes photos.

You bought a lava lamp, you dope.

Re:I got one of these (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47541389)

You bought a lava lamp, you dope.

I am a lava lamp, you insensitive clod!

Almost there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47539189)

Add the optional Fleshlight or Hitachi and the sky is the limit.

The bottom line (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47539207)

So, what they are proposing is just a bit of unrealistic software? Packaged in a consumer-numbing 'robot' for the the masses to gape at? How is this the home computer all over again?

Re:The bottom line (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47539331)

Because you're a Luddite and you can 3D print one of these at home?

"Cloud" dependent? (1)

chihowa (366380) | about 2 months ago | (#47539371)

After a bit of skimming, I couldn't really determine if this is a standalone device or something that depends on some creepy third party who will abandon it at some point? The processing demands seem a little high for a standalone, embedded processor.

Rolly (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 2 months ago | (#47539697)

I can't help but be reminded of the Rolly [youtube.com] . Does this mean the next stock market crash and recession is next year? Frivolity like this just seems "toppy".

Counselling? (1)

sir-gold (949031) | about 2 months ago | (#47539779)

How is a child raised by a robot any more traumatized than a child raised by a television (AKA the electric babysitter)?

The NSA will love this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47540087)

This is an NSA wet dream come true

Yeah a toy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47540221)

is just a toy, you better get a dog or a cat, are less expensive and actually more fun than a bunch of chips.

Now let's see how it really works ... (2)

WankersRevenge (452399) | about 2 months ago | (#47540227)

me: Hi Jibo
It spins and spins.
me: Over here. Over here. I'm standing here. Jibo. Stop spinning.
jibo: would you like take out.
me: no.
jibo: how about sushi. Your favorite food.
me:That's Lizzie's favorite.
jibo: Ordering. Unable to comply. Please check your network settings.
me: Cancel
jibo: Please say that again. I did not understand.
me: Reset. Stop.
jibo: Want me to take a picture.
me: No.
jibo: Cheese. Hard drive full. Please delete some of your pictures.
me: Stop taking pictures.
jibo: taking picture. Cheese. Hard drive full. Please delete some of your pictures.
me: Why did I buy this friggin thing?

Seriously, compare the Kinnect promo videos to how it actually turned out. That's Jibo, except from an extremely well funded company. This is just snake-oil.

well some things are good in the scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47540281)

Actually the video I think is simply fake. Make things look so perfect. Like if the robot had real intelligence. And I mean human like. Now how about make my computer as intelligent as that video. IT is more powerful, got the same or more capabilities and for real I don't have to buy expensive or affordable hardware cause I already have it. So basically this is nothing than a scam as mayor companies have not got there with more powerful hardware and a startup I really doubt that if achieves that level of intelligence would only put it in a toy. Yeah some people dress scams as companies this days. On the other side I agree that make technology more easy to interact for humans is simply the way to go. Saying to my computer do this or that instead of just typing key after key sounds great. Well if done properly. The face recognition and tracking is simply very very old news.

future successor (1)

sacrilicious (316896) | about 2 months ago | (#47542995)

I hope they eventually come out with a model they dub "Kwijibo", thereby validating Bart's scrabble gambit.

Fleshlight? (1)

AlCapwn (1536173) | about 2 months ago | (#47546673)

I'm working on a Fleshlight attachment [theverge.com] and a pillow talk module.
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