The world went crazy when Sony released its first cute robot dog back in 1999. Although it wasn’t a great leap to imagine a beagle-like doggie in the boxy form of aibo companion robot. But some subsequent models satisfied the people to become more dog-like. All this come to an end and Sony continued this in 2006. Now Sony is bringing aibo back, but this time it looks better than ever before and quite different beast to its playful ancestors.
This time the aibo is built with 64-bit quad-core brain, with deep learning technology seeing the aibo developing its own unique personality through everyday interactions as it grows closer and closer to its owners.” Now the robodog is can recognize faces, can detect spoken words using four microphones, reacts to petted thanks because of its touch sensors on its back, head and jaw.
After getting permission from parents, aibo can collect interaction data before uploading to the cloud over built-in LTE or Wi-Fi to gather in knowledge base, allowing for a “bond that only deepens as time goes on.”
Proprietary actuators allow freedom of movement along 22 axes. It means that head, mouth, neck, legs and paws, ears and tail can all move, while “lifelike” expressiveness reflects from OLED eyes. The companion robodog measures 180 x 293 x 305 mm (7 x 11.5 x 12 in) when standing while its weight is 2.2 kg (4.8 lb).
It also features with two fish-eye cameras with room mapping capabilities, along with a suite of sensors (including motion, light, pressure and distance). There built-in speakers and a battery that’s said to last for 2 hours but it takes 3 hours to charge at its charging station.
In order to further enhance the aibo experience, allowing smartphone access to system setting and owner information, Sony is planning to introduce a companion app for this. And there’ll also be a bone-shaped toy accessory available at release, too.
Sony’s new aibo can be preordered now in Japan for for ¥198,000 (about US$1,700), however a subscription plan is also needed to fully utilize the robot dog costing more ¥2,980 per month (or ¥90,000 for 3 years).
It will be available in Jan 11, 2018. No plan yet announced for outside of Japan. Watch the promo video below.