Makers of the World’s ‘First Family Robot’ Just Set a New Crowdfunding Record

Jibo has raised more than $1 million in just six days, making it the most-backed project currently on Indiegogo.

Robots really are taking over the world.

A local company that created what they’re calling the “world’s first family robot” just set a few new records on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo.com by raising more than $1 million in less than a week’s time.

Jibo, Inc., announced on Tuesday that backers tossed so much money their way just six days into their 30-day campaign to raise funds for the production of their Jibo robot that they hold the designation of the most funded campaign that’s currently active on the website, as well as the 17th most-funded Indiegogo campaign of all time, across all categories.

“We knew Jibo was a powerful concept and it seems consumers agree that the time has come for a friendly robot in the home,” said Dr. Cynthia Breazeal, Jibo founder and CEO.

Founded by Breazeal in the MIT Media Lab in 2012, Jibo, which is wirelessly connected to the Internet and moves as if its part of the action in a room, is marketed as an interactive storyteller, teaching tool, and has a message delivering system that recognizes multiple family members under the same roof. The robot, which stands at 11-inches tall and weighs about six pounds, can take photos and runs on an open platform that engineers and developers can use to optimize what Jibo is capable of doing.

Breazeal, the creative force behind a series of humanized robotic systems, said that if the push continues, and additional funding helps the company reach the $2 million mark before their campaign ends in three weeks, they will release something “truly exciting” for their supporters at no additional charge. What, exactly, remains a mystery, but if it’s as innovative as Jibo has been made out to be, then it’s probably going to be good.

“About 15 years ago, I set out to create a very different kind of technology at MIT. I embarked on this quest with the belief that technology can support a far more personally meaningful human experience, a belief that technology should support and prioritize the unique needs of a human being as we interact with it— to empower us to succeed, thrive, and grow with technology like never before,” Breazeal said in a blog post about Jibo this week. “I have dedicated my career at MIT and at Jibo, Inc. to this mission.”


Steve Annear Steve Annear, Digital Writer at Boston Magazine sannear@bostonmagazine.com


In This Section

Policy

Policy

Marijuana legalization, healthcare changes, and all the other referendums shaking up Mass.

Beyond Boston

Beyond Boston

Could You Be Owed Money?