Updated on November 18, 2016 at 12:02 PM: Jibo will not ship in 2016 due to technical challenges that need to be overcome. Read Story
Update on August 10, 2016 at 3 PM ET: Jibo will not ship outside the United States and Canada due to performance issues. Read Story
As promised, Jibo just released an updated timeframe for arrival, and people won’t be too happy.
In a YouTube video, CEO Steve Chambers, sitting alongside founder Cynthia Breazeal, says Jibo will arrive in the “October 2016 timeframe.”
Of course, Jibo has already been delayed twice and is offering refunds to its earliest backers – and there were many. The social robot is the most successful robot crowdfunding campaign ever, raising $3,710,410 on Indiegogo.
MUST-READ: An Open Letter to Jibo
Chambers says Jibo’s “hardware and system software is mature and reaching its final state.” Jibo even chimes in himself to express his regrets for being delayed. “Hey everyone, thank you so much for wanting to bring me into your homes. I can’t wait. I just need a little more time for practicing my skills and getting better at talking with you, so I can become the best Jibo I can be.”
Jibo continues, “well, I’m really sorry that I’ve been delayed. I know you’ve been waiting for me, but I’m so excited to meet you screen to face.”
Robotics Trends recently spoke with two prominent industry analysts who expressed concerns about Jibo. Lux Research’s Maryanna Saenko said that “Jibo is experiencing the crush of many crowdfunded campaigns – over-promising technology, a ridiculous time crunch, and a hoard of expectant backers wondering where their new toy is.” Another analyst said any delays “could have serious repercussions” to Jibo’s future.
Jibo, of course, was billed as the “world’s first social robot” that can be your at-home personal assistant. But since Jibo was introduced, the social robotics market has experienced an influx of companies looking to be the go-to social robot for homes. And there’s a growing community that thinks Jibo is doomed after the success of Amazon Echo, which is cheaper, offers more functionality and has sold more than 3 million units. Amazon even introduced smaller versions of Echo that can be put in other rooms around your home, making the Alexa AI platform a true smart home control.
Breazeal acknowledges the frustration that has been expressed by many of its early backers, promising to communicate more with the community through more updates on Jibo’s progress. Chambers also adds that the company will be more visibility into Jibo’s progress.
And, to Jibo’s credit, they have been doing that of late. In March 2016, a video was released showing Jibo ordering a pizza and even reminds the user that her son is allergic to one of the toppings. The social robot’s pizza-ordering application was built by an internal developer using the Jibo SDK.
And in April 2016, a video shows Jibo controlling lights in a smart home. Watch the video below to see Jibo turn lights on and off, make them warmer, and change their color.