Forget about getting a family pet…just get JIBO, the world’s first family robot! Okay, although it might not be the same as having a dog or cat around, but JIBO does boast some pretty cool features that the entire family will love using – from your three-year-old kid all the way to your mother-in-law who lives with you. The desktop robot is currently looking for funding on Indiegogo and is priced at around the same as a high-end smartphone with its $499 price tag, but promises to me so much more than any smartphone.

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Created by Cynthia Breazeal head of the Personal Robots group at the MIT Media Lab, the Jibo is supposed to help keep the family entertained and organized. It can snap pictures and sense whenever anyone of your family members is posing for the camera thanks to its two high-res cameras that will also make video calls with distant loved ones more enjoyable, as well as provide helpful reminders for the family like your son’s baseball game or daughter’s dance recital. It even recognizes each individual family member to deliver the right messages to the right people.

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When it show in 2015, JIBO will also be able to field phone calls and messages – connecting your family’s phones via Wi-Fi – and be able to act as the heart of your home as it connects to loads of household devices like TVs, tablets, gaming consoles and more. It can even read your kids stories at night. And it can chat back when talked to and can even sing and dance for your family’s entertainment. Thanks to its artificial intelligence algorithms it features, JIBO will learn your preferences to adapt and fit your family’s life.┬áDevelopers are also welcomed to create new apps for JIBO in the future, like allowing it to control smart home functions like turning on the AC on a hot day or turning off lights when no one is in a room. There’s also additional physical accessories to make your JIBO unique in the JIBO Store.

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Kristie Bertucci

 
Kristie Bertucci is an L.A.-based writer, who can't live without her MacBook Pro. When she's not writing, she's either reading or shopping (online, of course) and loves lazy days so she can catch up on her DVR-recorded shows and movies. She's definitely a Mac girl, she loves music and is currently on a mission to to have an insane and enviable iTunes library.