Sony revives Aibo robot dog after 11 years

Sony revives Aibo robot dog after 11 years

Sony revives Aibo robot dog after 11 years

Alongside the robot dog, Sony is launching a 2,980 yen ($26) bone-shaped toy accessory that promises to "spice up your life with Aibo". The eyes of the AI is made up of OLED displays to enable the pet show diverse expressions.

"It was a hard decision to stop the project in 2006, but we continued development in AI and robotics", chief executive Kazuo Hirai said at a news briefing.

The new robots will be priced at 198,000 yen (about $1,737), not including tax.

The Aibo's AI system will be able to adapt the robot dog's behaviour in response to the environment it's in and its interactions with people.

It's capable of learning and recognising words of praise, smiles, head and back scratches and petting, so it knows what actions makes its owner happy.

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The original was advanced for its time, responding to commands and meant to recognise its owners. Sony developed ultra-compact single- and dual-axis actuators that give Aibo "hundreds" of different movements and gestures, making it appear more dog-like. Though it wasn't a great leap to visualize a beagle-like pooch in the boxy form of the original aibo companion robot, subsequent models did at least smooth away some of the harsh lines to become more dog-like. Other than that it comes with cameras, microphones, boasts internet connectivity and an array of sensors. It can also identify the position of objects in a room and keep in mind to avoid them.

The company has pumped resources into the technology, teaming up with US firm Cogitai and launching a venture capital fund past year focused on investing in AI and robotics startups around the world.

It is also equipped with artificial intelligence so it can learn how to better communicate with its owners. Two months later, it started a venture capital fund called Sony Innovation Fund aiming at A.I. and robotics startups.

The electronics giant has announced plans for a new and improved version of the AI robot dog, which went out of production in 2006.

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