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This is an excellent testimonial to FOSS systems. Regardless of your thoughts on the quality of the product, people bought these things for $900 American. Now, the company is gone and the servers are being shut down. This formerly $900 device is useless for anything other than parts.

"Dying social robot Jibo goes out with a song and a dance"

theverge.com/platform/amp/circ

· Mastodon Share · 6 · 18 · 16

@mike
I thought this exact same thing as I saw the news last night. A ton of people are gonna have extra expensive paperweights.

@kiri It has crossed my mind to see if I could get one cheap now gut it and put Mycroft into it. Unfortunately people are still trying to sell them for $300 plus even though they don't do anything anymore. I guess I'll wait a year or so and see if they change their mind.

@mike
Sounds like a fun endeavor. But yeah waiting seems to be a good play.

@mike People still cling to the hope that they might recoup a bit more of their losses, but I'm certain that prices will go down once they realize that apart from a few tinkerers, nobody wants their extensive trash, and tinkerers usually don't want to pay much due stuff that wasn't originally made for tinkering.

Is it open enough to throw Mycroft on it, though?
@kiri

@colomar Oh, I seriously doubt it. Maybe something like the motor controllers, but that's a huge maybe. I think you'd probably have to gut the thing and pull everything out of it. Throw a Pi in there to run Mycroft and maybe if you're SUPER lucky you could control the motors through GPIO and kludge together a display driver. The Mark II has a graphical output, so Mycroft is developing a graphics layer. Getting it to work with Jibo hardware would be a whole other matter though.

@kiri

@mike I know about the Mycroft GUI, they're using technology to make it 😀
@kiri

@colomar Hah! I forgot about that! Yea, I'm anxiously waiting for them to be ready to ship. It would take a lot of work to make the Jibo case work with Mycroft, even in the best case scenario. Still, could be a fun side project for people with some time on their hands and a couple hundred dollars burning a hole in their pockets.

@kiri

@kiri @mike It should be mandatory to release source-code in such cases.

@ondra
I could get behind that. But then again, in my eyes all sources should be liberated from the start lol.
@mike

@mike That's sad. It doesn't seem all that long since that project started. Cynthia Breazeal is a well known MIT roboticist and wrote a book called "designing sociable robots" which I've still got around somewhere. I've not really kept up with that line of research, but it was one of the more interesting types of robotics.

@mike Reminds one of the Nabaztag, an electronic rabbit, precursor of all these connected things, which went dead when the mother company Violet (IIRC) closed.
They left documentation to put up a server, though. But it was so remotely hard for the layperson that now it's plastic and motherboards in people's trash bins.
This was the moment I decided I didn't want this kind of things, even before understanding the ecological implications.

@notabene I hadn't heard of those. Looks like they still sell for $60. Seems odd.

@mike They had amazing motorized ears. Also, you could pair them.
Like: a friend of mine is deaf and her husband had the other rabbit at the office. They could exchange messages during the day because one moved her rabbit's ears and the other saw the other rabbit's ears move accordingly. Genius idea!

@notabene
A colleague had one of those left and gave it to me to play with. From what I found in terms of docs, it is indeed difficult but doable. I'm still waiting for the power cord to see if it still does anything at all though
@mike

@mike As someone observed in the comments, it's also an annoyance with cloud computing. It's too easy for vendors to just pull the plug.

@mike it's also more expensive. Lawyers, risk of getting sued for patent infringement, increased support overhead due to customers installing custom firmware. Even a code-dump after shutting down isn't that easy.

@mike is there a secure, anonymous “dead drop” where a former employee could upload the server source? (Not me, just asking hypothetically)

@kr4dio There are services like that available, though I don't have any personal experience with them. If a former employee were to want to upload the server source, they would absolutely be accommodated.

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