Now that we are all comfortable talking to artificial personas on our smartphones — “Siri, who are the Sox playing tonight?” — Cynthia Breazeal thinks we’re ready for a robot companion that lives on the kitchen counter. Breazeal took a leave of absence from MIT, where she runs the Personal Robots Group within the Media Lab, to develop Jibo, a playful “family robot” that will cost about $500. Her company started taking pre-orders last summer.More →

Doyle will be taking over the role from Harry Lewis, dean and computer science professor, who was filling the role after Dean Cherry Murray, a physicist who served as dean of the school for five years, announced her intention to step down in October last year. 

At UCSB, Doyle led a biomedical engineering lab whose major projects included an artificial pancreas to treat pediatric diabetes.More →

Third Rock Ventures partners Robert Tepper, Mark Levin, and Kevin Starr. (Globe photo / Essdras M. Suarez)

The Newbury Street venture capital firm Third Rock Ventures has a track record of incubating and funding successful biotech companies like Foundation Medicine, Sage Therapeutics, and Agios. But now it is looking to give its startups a leg up in the Cambridge real estate market, by renting a big chunk of laboratory space. Several real estate industry sources say Third Rock is sniffing around former Vertex Pharmaceuticals digs on Sidney Street, near MIT.More →

Hiawatha Bray

Some big investors are betting that our appetite for online video will be worth a pretty penny. They’ve ponied up $58 million to launch a video service called Vessel, for which fans will pay $3 a month to get first looks at exciting short videos.

That’s the secret sauce, right there. Vessel will show the same stuff that will eventually appear on YouTube or other short video sites, but three days sooner, leaving YouTubers to twiddle their thumbs for 72 hours.More →