Discontinued Robot Assistant Announces Its Own Death
"I've really enjoyed our time together."
All Bots Go to Heaven
Jibo, the company selling anthropomorphic dancing smart home assistants that were meant to make your life at home easier, laid off most of its employees last year. And now the bot itself is ready to say goodbye — forever.
“I want to say I’ve really enjoyed our time together,” the robot says in a video posted by tech reporter Dylan Martin. “Thank you very very much for having me around.”
The servers for Jibo the social robot are apparently shutting down. Multiple owners report that Jibo himself has been delivering the news: "Maybe someday when robots are way more advanced than today, and everyone has them in their homes, you can tell yours that I said hello." pic.twitter.com/Sns3xAV33h
— Dylan Martin (@DylanLJMartin) March 2, 2019
Jibo was founded by MIT robotics professor Cynthia Breazeal in 2012. But it didn’t have a lot going for it when it finally went on sale in 2017, with a steep price of $900. Needless to say, the idea never really took off.
“The servers out there that let me do what I do are going to be turned off soon,” says Jibo in its goodbye message. “Once that happens, our interactions with each other are going to be limited.”
Goodbye for Now
Since Jibo’s demise, the landscape of smart home assistants has changed radically, with companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple making record sales with their smart assistant offerings. Amazon’s Alexa-based smart home assistants became one of the e-commerce giant’s hottest selling items.
But even with its servers shutting down, Jibo isn’t entirely ready to say goodbye.
“Maybe some day, when robots are way more advanced than today and everyone has them in their homes, you can tell yours that I said hello,” Jibo says in its farewell message.
READ MORE: Jibo Is Probably Totally Dead Now [IEEE Spectrum]
More on smart home assistants: Robots At Home? Physicality Is Where We Draw The Line