The Tech Bet

This robot acts as a personal assistant to your family

A robot for the family

Technology is beginning to reach new heights with the unveiling of a family robot that acts as a personal assistant to families.

Jibo, a social robot that can interact with people, has six skills that users may find helpful. "It can act as an assistant, a messenger, photographer, an avatar, a storyteller and companion," said Cynthia Breazeal, founder and CEO of the company which created the robot and is also called Jibo.

Its two high-resolution cameras recognize and track peoples' faces, capture photos and enable immersive video calling. It also has 360-degree microphones and natural language processing so that a user can talk to Jibo from anywhere in the room.


The 11-inch-tall robot, which works when connected through a Wi-Fi network, not only includes a touchscreen but also can be paired with a mobile app for Android and iOS devices. The app won't be available until 2015, Breazeal said.

Jibo, which is being funded through the Indiegogo crowdfunding site, offers two versions. The developer edition, for $599, is specifically for those tech-savvy folks who want to hack and develop skills for Jibo themselves and the home edition, for $499, is the main Jibo for consumers and families.

The robot comes with an AC charging pad and will be shipped battery ready. However, that does not mean it comes with a battery pack. The battery will have to be purchased separately for $100 on top of Jibo's $499 or $599 price tag and is designed to last for 30 minutes, according to the company.

Preorders will ship to backers in 2015, but the robot won't officially launch on other online platforms until 2016.

—By CNBC's Erika Santoro