Making life friendlier with personal robots
A personal robot capable of identifying and responding to human emotions known as Jibo, understands English and Arabic, detects verbal and non-verbal subject responses, and displays empathy. The robot was developed by Cynthia Breazeal, MIT professor and dean for digital learning, which oversees the Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL), and founder of the Personal Robots Group (PRG). The MIT Media Lab, the PRG team continues to train Jibo for additional applications.
Researcher, Sharifa Alghowinem, is working to develop the robot's mental health care and education potential. Alghowinem's research involves training Jibo to provide psychological support to both young and old adults in hopes that the robot can become a companion for the whole household. Alghowinem aims to develop Jibo's utility as a tool for Syrian refugee children as well. Her plan, which is currently in the fundraising stage, is for Jibo to provide English language education, social-emotional skills, and cultural heritage preservation activities.