Sony is bringing back its robodog Aibo over a decade since it launched the original robotic canine friend in 1999. The new model, continuing the name Aibo, “can form an emotional bond with members of the household while providing them with love, affection, and the joy of nurturing and raising a companion,” says Sony.
Using built in sensors that analyse noise and image, the Aibo’s behaviour is adaptable in order to understand what makes its owner happy and familiarise itself with surroundings and other Aibo units. Designed with 22 small actuators, the Aibo is agile and its eyes feature OLED panels so it can display alternate expressions. Sony has also created an app, My Aibo, so that owners can look at images taken by Aibo’s featured camera, and download tricks for it to perform. Sony have also designed a bone to purchase alongside its robodog, aptly titled Aibone. However, these high tech features use a lot of power – the Aibo’s battery life lasts two hours and takes three hours to recharge.
The Aibo has launched as a pre-order in Japan, currently the only country where the robodog is available to purchase. A pedigree robot however will set you back 198,000 Japanese Yen as well as a monthly subscription so it still might be best to invest in a furry friend.
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