Jibo: Designing A Robot With Character

Jibo: Designing A Robot With Character
Design

In the lead-up to our PSFK 2017 conference, we look back at key speakers from past years. VP for Design Blade Kotelly shares why social robots will run our homes in the future

PSFK
  • 8 may 2017

Leading up to our PSFK 2017 conference on May 19, we are looking back at some of the key speakers from years past. Get your tickets today!

Whether it’s IKEA furniture, the Curiosity Rover, or the Pixar lamp, humans have a tendency to anthropomorphize objects and bestow them with emotions. With the growing prevalence of AI assistants in people’s pockets and homes, designers must think about how these artificial personalities interact with their users. During his talk at PSFK 2016, our flagship conference in New York City, Blade Kotelly,  VP of Design for the social robot Jibo, outlined how he helps give robots character so people may invite them into their homes and lives.

Jibo is a relatively simple object. Standing at only 11″ tall, Jibo is comprised of three motors, a touch screen, and ring light to add expression to his communications as well as two cameras, six microphones, and touch sensors on the head to sense the environment in three dimensions. Kotelly describes it him as a “principle-driven, expressive, magical, cohesive, dependable, balanced, and endlessly livable social robot.” That is to say, it he is a character designed to live with and serve people in their homes.

“He’s not a weather app, but rather a weather man,” Kotelly explains, “He can give you weather information, but he can experience it too. If your app experienced it too, that would feel a bit strange, but a character in your environment makes more sense.”

Throughout his talk, Kotelly underscores how Jibo is built to care about people through its ability to add context and personality to the answers he provides. From a design perspective, creating a character presents unique challenges. Kotelly and his team use four techniques to craft the robot’s unique character:

  • Spoken phrases, body animation, screen animation, light ring to show motivation, tone and state of being.
  • Text-to-speech and sound effects: “Instead of saying I love you, maybe he can make a sound.”
  • User experience interactions: “If you have a robot in your home that is making mistakes and you say, ‘F- You,’ maybe he’ll look sad, lean down, and say ‘I’m very sorry.’  Then you think, ‘I don’t want to do that to this robot.’ Maybe that’s good in your home because then you build up those attitudes where you don’t say those things to each other.”
  • Synchronized physical movement, screen animation, and voice:
    “Once you have that synchronization, a very little bit becomes very effective […] This is not what happens with a cell phone.”

jibo cup-empty-looking social robot psfk.com

Because Jibo is a social robot and not simply a remote control for the Internet of Things, he can become an expert for the home. He knows context and people in the environment; he has memory and can synthesize loads of data. Kotelly and his team argue that simply being able to connect technology isn’t enough. We need social robots who understand us and that is an Idea that Transforms.

Jibo

Leading up to our PSFK 2017 conference on May 19, we are looking back at some of the key speakers from years past. Get your tickets today!

Whether it’s IKEA furniture, the Curiosity Rover, or the Pixar lamp, humans have a tendency to anthropomorphize objects and bestow them with emotions. With the growing prevalence of AI assistants in people’s pockets and homes, designers must think about how these artificial personalities interact with their users. During his talk at PSFK 2016, our flagship conference in New York City, Blade Kotelly,  VP of Design for the social robot Jibo, outlined how he helps give robots character so people may invite them into their homes and lives.

+Design
+homes
+PSFK
+PSFK 2016
+psfk labs
+Public
+technology

Learn About Our Membership Services

Need Research Help?
As a member you can ask us any research questions and get complimentary research assistance with a 4-day turnaround. Reports inclde stats, quotes, and best-inclass examples on research topics.
Remain Informed & Strategic
We publish several trends reports each month. By becoming a member you will have access to over 100 existing reports, plus a growing catalog of deep topical analysis and debrief-style reports so you always remain in the know.
See Trends Come To Life
Meet your peers and immerse yourself in monthly trend and innovation webinars and discounted conferences.
No search results found.