Cynthia Breazeal and her team are hard at work on a new social robot called Jibo. Imagine a physical embodiment of Apple’s Siri that stands about a foot tall and is about as heavy as a large laptop.

Jibo is being heralded as a social robot. You talk to it, ask it questions, have it set reminders etc. Sound like something you’re interested in? A crowd-sourcing campaign has started today (the page is getting hammered by traffic right now) and early adopters can pick up Jibo for $499. A developers version costs $599.

Breazeal believes a revolution is coming in personal robots and Jibo will lead the charge.

Check out Jibo’s promotion video below.

Who is Cynthia Breazeal? She’s the director of MIT Media Lab’s Personal Robots Group and is the lead on the team creating Jibo.

What makes Jibo so special compared to a tablet? Jibo brings a social aspect to everything. Want Jibo to place an order at your favorite burger joint? Just ask it. Breazeal and her team’s goal is for Jibo to personalize every experience for you. Whether that’s grabbing info from the web or an app, or displaying an e-book on its face screen.

Instead of just another tablet or smartphone in the house, Breazeal wants a physical presence that gives/takes information in a more natural way.

“What if technology actually treated you like a human being? What if technology helped you to feel closer to the ones you love? What if technology helped you like a partner rather than simply being a tool? That’s what Jibo’s about. That’s why I created this company,” said Breazeal.

Jibo may not do much more than your tablet, but it’s about bringing a social aspect to the technology we use everyday.


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