The Indiegogo campaign for a new "social family robot" has soared past its goal in less than fours hours, with pre-orders indicating a big demand for the product.
Shortly after startup Jibo Inc. launched its crowdfunding campaign at 9 a.m. EDT Wednesday, prospective funders quickly started to snatch up pre-orders for the company's family robot, dubbed "Jibo" and developed by MIT social robot scientist Dr. Cynthia Breazeal.
Thanks to the overwhelming response, Jibo was able to reach its $100,000 goal in under four hours. The $99 deposit option was the first to sell out, with the $599 Jibo developer kits and $499 Jibo Home Edition units quickly following suit.
"Jibo now ranks within the top 10 campaigns to reach $100,000 the fastest," Indiegogo said.
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The Indiegogo campaign has proven so popular that the company had to add another batch of 100 Jibo Home Edition units to the campaign to keep up with the demand.
"We at Jibo Inc. are absolutely thrilled by the early, enthusiastic response by the public to bring the world’s first family robot into the home and to the world,” Breazeal told International Business Times. “We are looking forward to engaging our growing community to make Jibo a meaningful and joyful part of family life."
As of this writing, the campaign had raised over $175,000, nearly double its target goal. The campaign deadline is August 15.
At 11 inches tall and weighing just 6 pounds, the social robot has the ability to learn about and recognize the people around it, so it can interact with its users through conversations and coordinate tasks such as sorting through voice messages or taking a picture.
Jibo isn’t in retail stores just yet, but those looking to get their hands on one can still pre-order Jibo through the Indiegogo campaign while units are still available. The Jibo Inc. team aims to ship the limited-run units during the Christmas 2015 season.
Jibo joins the growing field of consumer robots introduced in recent months, including Intel Corp.'s (NASDAQ:INTC) 3D-printed robot, Jimmy, and Softbank Corp.'s (TYO:9984) emotion reading humanoid robot, Pepper.