Robotics

Sony's adorable robotic dog confirmed for US availability

Sony's adorable robotic dog co...
Originally a Japan-only release, aibo will be available in the US as a limited edition bundle from September, 2018
Originally a Japan-only release, aibo will be available in the US as a limited edition bundle from September, 2018
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The "First Litter Edition" aibo bundle includes the robot pup, subscription to a cloud-based AI system and some toys, including this pink ball
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The "First Litter Edition" aibo bundle includes the robot pup, subscription to a cloud-based AI system and some toys, including this pink ball
The "First Litter Edition" aibo bundle includes this "aibone"
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The "First Litter Edition" aibo bundle includes this "aibone"
Pressure sensors will let aibo know when it's being stroked or petted
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Pressure sensors will let aibo know when it's being stroked or petted
Sony says aibo will develop its own personality over time, meaning that no two robotic pups will behave exactly the same
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Sony says aibo will develop its own personality over time, meaning that no two robotic pups will behave exactly the same
Rather than wait patiently for some attention, aibo will actively seek out its carers
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Rather than wait patiently for some attention, aibo will actively seek out its carers
aibo can wag its tail, express itself through OLED eyes and even yap
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aibo can wag its tail, express itself through OLED eyes and even yap
aibo's sensors are able to recognize spoken phrases and its cameras register smiles – allowing it to remember what kind of interactions appear to make its carers happy
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aibo's sensors are able to recognize spoken phrases and its cameras register smiles – allowing it to remember what kind of interactions appear to make its carers happy
Originally a Japan-only release, aibo will be available in the US as a limited edition bundle from September, 2018
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Originally a Japan-only release, aibo will be available in the US as a limited edition bundle from September, 2018
aibo's suite of 1- and 2-axis actuators allow the pooch freedom of movement over 22 axes
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aibo's suite of 1- and 2-axis actuators allow the pooch freedom of movement over 22 axes

The consumer tech giant decided to revive an old favorite last year, when it announced the Japan-only release of a new aibo robotic companion. Now a "First Litter Edition" of the cutesy pup will be making its way to US shores as a limited bundle.

This latest version represents the sixth generation of Sony's once insanely popular robot pet and marries modern robotics with a cloud-based AI engine and advanced image sensors. This is reported to give aibo the ability to learn, recognize faces and – as time goes on – develop its own unique personality. This essentially means that no two robot pups will grow up to be exactly the same, as its development will be influenced by the approach of its carers.

Rather than sit in a corner and wait to be petted and played with, the new aibo will go looking for people to interact with around the house. Its suite of 1- and 2-axis actuators allow the pooch freedom of movement over 22 axes, and aibo is able to express itself by wagging its tail, moving its ears and making full use of its two OLED eyes. Oh yes, and it can yap. Its sensors are able to recognize spoken phrases and its cameras register smiles – allowing it to remember what kind of interactions appear to make its carers happy.

aibo's sensors are able to recognize spoken phrases and its cameras register smiles – allowing it to remember what kind of interactions appear to make its carers happy
aibo's sensors are able to recognize spoken phrases and its cameras register smiles – allowing it to remember what kind of interactions appear to make its carers happy

"aibo's charming personality, dog-like behaviors and ability to intelligently interact with family members help to create a personal bond," said Mike Fasulo of Sony US. "Bringing aibo back to the US reflects Sony's broader commitment to provide consumers with products that not only entertain them, but also enrich their lives."

The aibo bundle will include the autonomous robot pup, a 3 year AI Cloud Plan, an assortment of toys for the doggy to play with (such as a pink ball and a big ol' bone) and a numbered dog tag. It will go on sale next month for US$2,899 and Sony says it will be delivered in time for the holidays.

Source: Sony

3 comments
Derek Howe
2,900...I think I'll pass. BUT, this is one very impressive robodog. I'm looking forward to future version bringing the price down to the masses.
piperTom
Too bad this is from Sony, the rootkit maker. I will wait for a toy from a company without such a criminal history.
Jean Lamb
"Hi, I'm Rags!"--SLEEPER, with Woody Allen.