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"

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@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!

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 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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