AIBO (アイボ) Robot Puppy – RelaunchSony AIBO アイボ Robot Puppy Dog

The cute robot puppy, using the brand AIBO (アイボ), is being relaunched in October 2018 by Sony in the US. It was first introduced and known as AIBO pets back in 1999. Various different models were released and then were discontinued and not seen since 2006.

Sony are now relaunching a new smart phone app connected AIBO that looks like being a first step for the company to step into a future wider robot pet brand. Time will till if this will be just dogs or whether other pets such as cats will also be part of future autonomous robot pet releases.

See AIBO for yourself in this video from Sony – 

What is the Sony AIBO (アイボ) how does AI allow it to develop?

The eyes are OLED based to allow the Sony robot puppy to show more realistic expressions. AIBO has been designed to offer more life like recognizable dog movements. It can roll over, move it’s robot limbs independently as well as wag it’s tail and ears. The robot can even roll over and play dead!

It comes with built with artificial intelligience (AI) and this is developed to allow the AIBO robot puppy to not only learn over time from it’s interactions with the owner and family members but Sony says that it will start to understand their emotion levels and whether someone is angry, sad, happy etc. It will start to develop a link with it’s owners by learning when it is being petted, praised or scolded.

Sony have made available an Apple iPhone My Aibo app as well as an Android smart phone My Aibo app. The app allows owners of the puppy to dowload photos made via AIBO’s built in camera as well as the ability to download new tricks. Mobile Internet access is given to the robot dog via a SIM card.

Pricing for Sony AIBO

The price for AIBO will be just shy of USD 3,000 for the US consumer market and around YEN 200,000 in Japan and will likely be similar for the rest of the Asian and European markets.

What else can we expect from Robot Pets in the future?

There are almost certainly going to be developments by Sony as well as other companies in the robot pet market. Expect to see cats and other favourite pets in the future. Vector the home assistant robot by Anki, is also due for release in October 2018. In addition to something fun, what else could these robotic pets maybe offer in the future? –

  • Provide company to the elderly as well as allow you to see that they are okay. It may be that their AI will develop to allow the robot pet to alert family members in the case of accidents and emergencies. If the AI can develop sufficiently it may also be able to sense vital signs.
  • A similar use for toddlers to allow parents to not only see their children but also to alert if there are any problems.
  • A robotic guard dog could be another development to ensure your house stays safe and secure with a robot scanning and walking around your property when you are away.

Do you think the robot pet will ever replace real life pets or become another valued and perhaps even loved companion alongside? Are there other uses for a robotic pet?

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