There's a new robot in town, and he promises to become part of your family -- to a somewhat creepy extent, actually.
JIBO, the brain child of Cynthia Breazeal, is essentially like Rosie from "The Jetsons" without the sarcasm. He's part personal assistant, part family photographer and part tutor. He's apparently invited to Thanksgiving dinner and to put your child to bed. He'll gently thwart a budding argument between mom and son. He can even tell kids stories and act as a wingman.
The family in the promo video doesn't seem to realize how weird this all is. "Hey buddy!" a guy greets JIBO, asking him to order takeout. JIBO suggests Chinese, "as usual," and the guy doesn't respond by questioning whether this robot will soon take over his life, but with "You know me so well!"
Then JIBO helps him set up a date with Ashley.
Despite our fear of our inevitable robot overlords, JIBO does actually seem pretty amazing. The inventors ditched the whole robots-looking-like-humans thing and went for a decidedly tech-looking robot with human characteristics like displaying emotions and facial recognition.
It's also great to see JIBO's makers are already giving back. As part of its online crowdfunding push, early investors can buy one JIBO for themselves and another will be donated to Boston Children's Hospital.
If all goes according to plan, JIBO will start ingratiating himself into your family life in late 2015.