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Robotics Pioneer Launches the First Personal Robot You Might Actually Buy

July 16, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by James Temple / Re/code

Cynthia Breazeal wants to take robots out of the lab and into the living room.

The MIT associate professor is widely recognized as a pioneer in social robotics, most famously producing the engaged and friendly faces of Kismet and Leonardo. But now she has formed her own company, Jibo, which has developed a namesake 11-inch tall robot that swivels around on two-axises and roughly resembles a lamp.

I got to see Jibo up close this week at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Mass. In several years of covering robotics, it's one of the most ambitious and affordable robots for the home that I've seen. To date, the category has largely been defined by toys like AIBO, vacuums such as Roomba and, more recently, high-priced personal robots like Intel's Jimmy ($1,600 for a kit) and SoftBank's Pepper (nearly $2,000).

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