It's time to say goodbye to Jibo's adorable social robot
In a world run by Google and Alexa, it's hard to make it as a $900 robot assistant. Even if it can dance.
Justin JaffeManaging editor
Justin Jaffe is the Managing Editor for CNET Money. He has more than 20 years of experience publishing books, articles and research on finance and technology for Wired, IDC and others. He is the coauthor of Uninvested (Random House, 2015), which reveals how financial services companies take advantage of customers -- and how to protect yourself. He graduated from Skidmore College with a B.A. in English Literature, spent 10 years in San Francisco and now lives in Portland, Maine.
Like the milkman and the switchboard operator before him, time has left behind Jibo the dancing robot. CRN's Dylan Martin reports that Jibo, the company that makes the eponymous device, has now shut down its servers, starving the robots of much of their already-limited intelligence.
From the beginning, the deck was stacked against Jibo. Priced at $899 (roughly converting to £685 and AU$1,270), he was expensive -- and he could never do as much as Amazon's Alexa or Google Assistant. Sure, he was cute and he could dance. But in 2019, that's not always enough.
Jibo was launched in 2014 as an Indiegogo crowd-funded project by Dr. Cynthia Breazeal of MIT. The project was fully funded in September of that year, preceding the release of the first Amazon Echo, which followed two months later. In 2017, Jibo was finally released to an appreciative but lukewarm reception. Jibo, the company, sold its assets in December 2018, according to a report by the IEEE.