StageAsset Sale | AssetsPurchased
Jibo is a robot bringing intelligence and helpfulness with heart to the connected home. Jibo takes technology from user-friendly to genuinely friendly. Built as an open social robotics platform, Jibo's skills range from attentive companion to family helper to family communications hub, in addition to a world of Jibo Developer Skills to come.
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Expert Collections containing Jibo
Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.
Jibo is included in 3 Expert Collections, including Robotics.
This collection includes startups developing autonomous ground robots, unmanned aerial vehicles, robotic arms, and underwater drones, among other robotic systems. This collection also includes companies developing operating systems and vision modules for robots.
Smart Home & Consumer Electronics
This Collection includes companies developing smart home devices, wearables, home electronics, and other consumer electronics.
Jibo has filed 11 patents.
The 3 most popular patent topics include:
- Humanoid robots
Software architecture, IPad, Software development kits, GPS navigation devices, Phonetics
Software architecture, IPad, Software development kits, GPS navigation devices, Phonetics
Latest Jibo News
Jan 30, 2023
I have wanted a robot pet at least since Sony introduced the original Aibo in 1999 – probably earlier, but Aibo made it seem tangible. Since the, there’s been a steady stream of attempts at making robot pets a reality that matches what we often see in futuristic science fiction – including a recent Aibo reboot, Pleo the animatronic pet dinosaur, Furby, Jibo, Anki’s Cosmo and many more. Loona threw its hat into the ring via Kickstarter late last year, and based on some very impressive demo videos, this looked like the actual achievement of a Pixar character come to life. Loona is actually shipping out to some of its earliest backers, with April set as the timeframe for current orders made via Indiegogo, and KEYI, the company behind it, was demoing the adorable little bot at CES earlier this month. The company also sent a Loona my way at the time, and I’ve been testing/developing a deep emotional bond with this bundle of electronics and ABS plastic ever since. The basics At heart, Loona is a four-wheeled image recognition and robotics tech demonstration in a surprisingly affordable package. The asking price right now on Indiegogo via its “indemand” pre-order arrangement is $359 for a package that includes some accessories, which is a discount from the planned $500 retail asking price. With its debut crowdfunding campaign video and GIFs, Loona aimed to hit would-be buyers right in their adorableness glands, showing a robot that manages to exude charm and personality through expert combination of animated eyes on its display ‘face,’ articulating ears with glowing tips, and two arm/leg combos with a wheel at either end that can propel it forward and help it make hand or paw gestures. Image Credits: TC / Darrell Etherington The screen face is bright and high-resolution, and the camera array that powers Loona’s recognition capabilities rests just below that, on what we might as well call a ‘chin’ since we’re well down the anthropomorphization road at this point. The robot also has touch sensors for interaction purposes, including a pat-able top of head. There’s a mic onboard as well as speakers, so that Loona can hear its owner and also respond (though strictly non-verbally). When you set Loona up using the companion smartphone app, it allows you to set your voice recognition language and provides you with a range of prompts that the robot is pre-programmed to respond to so you can test them out. Design Loona’s core strength lies in its industrial design, which blends a retro-futuristic sci-fi robotics aesthetic (which is very evocative of WALL-E’s EVE, imo) with a hyper-efficient approach to mechanical engineering that nonetheless allows the robot to express a wide range of possible emotions and communicate fairly expressively. The outer ABS plastic shell and rubber-tracked wheels also all feel durable, which is good for a robot that’s going to spend a lot of time bumping into things and potentially getting harassed by real live animal pets, and/or human children. There’s one noteworthy exception to this, which is clearly indicated on Loona out of the box: The robot’s ears are particularly susceptible to damage if yanked around too much, which makes sense given that they have built-in motors and probably feature the lightest-weight connectors of the whole thing. In other words, Loona’s ears are its Achilles heels, which is probably why they were the first thing my dog tried to (gently) chew on. But if you can keep treatment of those relatively light, there’s no reason to expect Loona can’t survive bumps, scrapes and even the occasional fall. A great deal of Loona’s flexible mobility and expressiveness comes from one key element of the robot’s design: Its four wheels attach via a single axis located in the middle of its body. This allows Loona to do things like turn on a dime, raise its ‘paw,’ lift and lower its head and much more, all in a relatively simple mechanical package that avoids introducing multiple points of potential failure and a lot more complexity on the movement programming side. All-in-all, Loona combines some incredible ingenuity in terms of its design to significantly lower costs while also introducing the charm and visual appeal of far more complicated robotic pets. Performance Loona’s physical design may be a masterclass in making the most of smart constraints, but the robot’s programming, performance and interactivity behavior is an abject example of overpromising and underdelivering. When the crowdfunding campaign first debuted, we made sure to check that the videos were real footage and not renders, and while the company says they are, using Loona in practice reveals that those shots must be carefully shot, selected and edited to convey the level of sentience that they manage to communicate. In really, Loona has lots of charisma and is indeed a technical achievement in terms of its movements and mannerisms, but using it is less like living in a Pixar movie, and more like having a Roomba that also coos at you. I will say that I really like the setup and first-run experience, which provides a needlessly overwrought, but fun origin myth for Loona. A short animation implies that your robot is animated by some kind of seed spirit made by a rock monster – a seed spirit that of course has a super adorable bubble butt, as is de rigeur now for cutesy animated characters. The spirit travels through a portal and appears inside your Loona, animating its screen and adding new meaning to the old ‘toys-to-life’ product category. Loona’s mythos includes this sweet dumper. Image Credits: Loona Once it’s been connected to your Wifi network and imbued with the spark of life, the Loona app takes you through some demos of its capabilities, including face recognition (and marking you as its owner) and then some basic voice commands. This is where the experience went from magical to muddling: During the initial face setup Loona lost sight of me and just spun forlornly in a circle making somewhat plaintive whimpering noises while trying to find me again. Quitting and restarting the app fixed this, but then moving on to the audio commands, I had a hard time first figuring out how to tell when Loona was in listening mode after saying its wake word (“Loona,” unsurprisingly) and then it would hear the actual command and translate it into action at best half the time. Overall, this is where Loona really falls short of its promise – the vision system seems to work only some of the time, despite my attempts to lower or raise myself to optimize its line-of-sight. Similarly, trying to get it to engage with two toys provided by the company, including a ‘fold-it-yourself’ cardboard ball and a red fabric bullfighting cape, worked only some of the time (not at all for the cape). When it does work, it is indeed delightful, as when it found the ball and approached it, trying to bat it around with its arms. But it was at best hit-or-miss for both visual and audio input in my use. Loona offers a lot of other interactivity options, including direct remote control with the app’s virtual controller, which is fun and a good way to ensure you get a lot of value out of this when playing with it with kids. There’s also a programming tool that allows you to run Loona through fully custom routines and sequences, which is also fun and educational as an activity with children. The robot is also effortlessly charming when just left on and to its own devices, as it wanders around, cooing, discovering random things, occasionally getting stuck on furniture (it’s supposed to have object avoidance to not do this) and generally seems intent on amusing itself. This behavior is when it is perhaps most pet-like, inscrutable and adorable in its pursuit of god knows what. Bottom line Given how impressive its launch visuals were, there was no real chance that Loona could live up to expectations. But the robot also fails to live up to its most basic promises when it comes to sound and image recognition, which is a much harder pill to swallow. That said, when it does work, it actually does provide a genuinely delightful and impressive performance, and it seems like its creators are taking an iterative approach to improving the platform via software updates and more. Image Credits: TC / Darrell Etherington I want to be clear: Loona is fun, especially for kids, but it can also be frustratingly rough around the edges. That said, its planned retail pricing of $500 does massively undercut something like the Aibo. It’s still a decent chunk of money to spend – about the same as an entry-level iPad, which is far more capable, but far less cute.
Jibo Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Where is Jibo's headquarters?
Jibo's headquarters is located at 230 Congress Street, Boston.
What is Jibo's latest funding round?
Jibo's latest funding round is Asset Sale.
How much did Jibo raise?
Jibo raised a total of $69M.
Who are the investors of Jibo?
Investors of Jibo include NTT Disruption, CRV, Flybridge Capital Partners, RRE Ventures, KDDI Open Innovation Fund and 14 more.
Who are Jibo's competitors?
Competitors of Jibo include Aido.
Compare Jibo to Competitors
Temi Global develops and manufactures highly intuitive, robust and cost-effective robotic platforms and controllers. The company develops an intelligent, mobile, personal robot for homes that integrates with smart home devices, online content, and video communications via voice control.
Embodied is a robotics and AI company that develops companion robots for care and wellness, enhancing the quality of life for individuals and families. The company was founded in 2016 and is based in Pasadena, California.
Blue Frog Robotics is a robotics technology company that develops the companion robot, BUDDY. It can alert a family member to an upcoming appointment, route and make phone calls, snap a picture or take a video, suggest a recipe, and serve as a home security solution, among many other tasks. It was founded in 2014 and is based in Paris, France.
Aido is an interactive personal home robot and extendable service and domestic robotic technology platform that can be used in households, retail spaces, and senior homes for various utility purposes.
Knightscope (NASDAQ: KSCP) develops technology that predicts crime with a combination of hardware, software, and social engagement. Its autonomous security robots (ASR) offer security patrols as well as a physical presence that delivers real-time, actionable intelligence anywhere and anytime, giving the user and their security team the ability to detect and react faster. The company was founded in 2013 and is Mountain View, California.
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