Jibo is gearing up to take more pre-orders of its social robot that is scheduled to hit the market later in 2016. Jibo has yet to publicly announce the latest pre-sale, but the company recently sent an email (see screenshot below) to people who signed up for the pre-order waitlist.
The note, which was sent to Robotics Trends and confirmed by Jibo, reads: “You recently expressed interest in purchasing Jibo, the world’s first social robot for the home, and we need you to confirm your spot on the waitlist.
“This confirmed waitlist will be given the first opportunity to pre-order Jibo in advance of the public announcement. Quantities are limited, and this will be your only chance to pre-order Jibo before he becomes available to the public for pre-order.”
Jibo wouldn’t comment on when the pre-sale begins, the price of social robot during the pre-order, or how many units will be available. The last Jibo pre-sale was May 18, 2015 through June 22, 2015 during the Jibo InDemand campaign that offered a $799 bundle that included one Jibo, one battery, a charging base, and the SDK.
Jibo was supposed to ship to its earliest Indiegogo backers by September 2015. That didn’t happen, of course, as the social robot has missed a couple of deadlines as it needed “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.”
The company is even offering refunds to customers who don’t want to wait any longer. And there are many of those customers, including one who wrote an open letter to Jibo to express his frustration.
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 and the announcement of Google Home.
The upcoming pre-order, however, is another positive sign that Jibo is getting closer to being released. The beta version of the SDK became available in May 2016, and new Jibo skills continue to be teased. Sparksfly for Jibo, for example, allows you to read, post, like and dislike social media content by simply having a conversation with Jibo.
We’ve seen Jibo order a pizza and even remind the user that her son is allergic to one of the toppings. We’ve also seen Jibo control lights in a smart home.
Jibo also recently partnered with Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe to create a new gaming experience for the social robot. Japan-based Bandai is an arcade, mobile and home video game publisher best known for its work on Pac-Man, Tekken, Soulcalibur, Naruto, Dragon Ball, and Galaga.