Sony’s 90’s-era robot dog ‘Aibo’ is making a come back with cloud-based AI engine

Sony initially launched Aibo in 1999 and the robot dog sold out within 20 minutes of its launch period. After it was discontinued in 2006, the makers decided to reintroduce a new and improved version later on in the future. Now, the robotic canine re-entered the Japanese market with a completely new design and technical updates. Apart from Japan, the “First Litter Edition” will also mark its presence in the US markets for a limited time at a cost of $2,899.

Sony Aibo Robot Dog 4

Image: Sony

For such a high price point, one wonders what exceptional qualities Aibo will possess. According to the makers, the latest version will contain a cloud-based AI engine along with advanced image sensors. These features will give Aibo the ability to learn, identify faces and even develop its own personality along the way. This means that no two robots will have identical personalities as its owners will mold and shape the way they want their “pet” to be.

Sony Aibo Robot Dog 2

Image: Sony

The new Aibo is an interactive and sociable playmate that will go around the house constantly communicating with its caretakers. Its array of 1- and 2-axis actuators give the puppy free reign of movement over 22 axes, which is why it can perform dog-like motions such as wagging its tail and moving its ears. Its two OLED lights add to the cuteness factor and it can also bark like puppies do. Thanks to its sensors, it can recognize commands and act on them. Furthermore, it also has the capability to detect and register smiles, which helps in identifying the kind of interactions that please the owner.

Sony Aibo Robot Dog 5

Image: Sony

“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.”

Sony Aibo Robot Dog 3

Image: Sony

For its hefty price, the Aibo bundle contains the autonomous robo-dog made from silver plastic, a 3 year AI cloud plan, an assortment for the dog to play with (such as a pink ball and a big ol’ bone) and a numbered dog tag.

Sony Aibo Robot Dog 1

Image: Sony

h/t: New Atlas

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