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By Katie Couric
Small stature, big personality: Family robot Jibo hits the market.
He stands only 11 inches tall, but Jibo makes a big impression the moment you meet him. Jibo is the world's first family robot. He makes his debut today. I got a sneak peek when I visited Cynthia Breazeal, a pioneer of social robotics, at the MIT Media Lab.
Yes, Jibo can sing and dance. He can greet you and remind you to call your mother. But Jibo's potential extends far beyond engaging in casual conversation and completing daily tasks.
Breazeal sees Jibo, along with other social robots she's developed, as playing a big role in educating children and health care management and aiding the elderly.
Breazeal's fascination with robotics began with “Star Wars” and she realized after watching NASA land a robot on Mars that not enough attention was paid to robots that engage in human interaction.
She began to focus on social robots that are designed to interact with humans in an interpersonal manner through social cues, such as politeness.
Jibo is the result of years of work and study by Breazeal. She told me that despite concerns from some people, robots like Jibo are not intended to replace humans. "It's about human empowerment," she says.