Daily Mail

London

He is billed at the first family robot and can do everything from read to your children to take pictures at parties and tell you when you’re running late.

Developed by a leading robotics expert at MIT, Jibo is set to go on sale later this year for $499. It is claimed the ‘robotpet’ will learn your likes and dislikes over time and even work out the best way to keep the family quiet.

‘He will be many things for people - most importantly, an interactive companion that knows you and brings intelligence, helpfulness and personality to experiences for every member of your household,’ the firm behind the robot says. Standing 11 inches tall weighing in at 6 pounds, the robot can swivel a large ‘head’ containing a screens, video cameras and microphones around.

It connects via wifi, and can recognise different family members to help them. It was created by Cynthia Breazeal, who directs the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab. ‘We’ve achieved greatness in the computing and social media revolutions,’ she said. ‘The next wave, emotive computing, is upon us and Jibo is a transformative, social and emotive robot that will help people thrive like part of the family.’

Breazeal says Jibo will do everything from look after children to monitor the elderly. ‘Jibo is the first in a new class of family robotics that will humanize information, apps and services, and ultimately will help people and families affordably address fundamental human needs that require high-touch engagement for the best human outcomes like education, independent aging and health management in the convenience of their home.

Eventually, Jibo will also interface to devices in your house, giving it the ability to switch appliances on and off and even change channels on the TV, for instance. ‘Jibo doesn’t replace people and human relationships, rather it is designed to support, complement, and extend what we need from others in an affordable, effective and delightful way so that we can succeed, thrive and grow.

‘Family robotics will empower people to create the best lives possible for themselves and their loved ones through personally and emotionally meaningful experiences and connection.’