In the growing category of companionship and personal assistance automation (or “social robotics”), here is a relatively new entry: Jibo, the “world’s first family robot.” From personal robotics pioneer, MIT’s Cynthia Breazeal, Jibo provides a wide variety of family and household functions, from schedule management, photography and video, to reading to children.
Read all about Jibo here. Also, check out the video:
Jibo is apparently in the prototype stage, but very cool, and one wonders whether or not such functionality could be integrated or transferred completely into smart home platforms. Jibo as conceived and presented here is not self-propelled and mobile, but could be carried, so he has the benefit of being transferrable outside the home. Anyway, I’d expect the fundamental concept to take many forms in the future.
Additionally, here’s a Ted Talk video from Breazeal on the general topic of personal robots:
Jibo is just one example of the rapidly emerging field of social/personal robotics. Before we know it, robots that care for (and perhaps about) us may be a central part of our lives.