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

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. Vessel will show the same stuff that will eventually appear on YouTube or other short video sites, but three days sooner.More →