Sony Corporation has announced the evolution of its autonomous entertainment robot for the family, aibo.
aibo, as you can see in the photo, is a robotic dog which now features a more adorable appearance compared to its predecessor 5 years ago. Designed for home use, Sony says 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.” In addition, it can develop its own unique personality through everyday interactions as it grows closer and closer to its owners.
As for its features, well, it’s cute, utilizes two OLEDs for its eyes, and can express emotions via body language (e.g. a combination of eye, ear, and tail movements, as well as different voice sounds), thanks to its ultracompact 1- and 2-axis actuators. Users can also interact with it using an app.
It can detect words of praise, smiles, head and back scratches, petting, and more, allowing it to learn and remember what actions make its owners happy. It has built-in sensors to detect and analyze sounds and images and comes with fish-eye cameras that utilize simultaneous location and mapping (SLAM) technology.
As mentioned earlier, aibo’s behavior slowly changes and adapts in response to its unique environment through Sony’s AI technology. Meaning, aibo’s AI learns from interactions with its owners and develops a unique personality over time. That said, it’s wise to treat aibo nicely.
As for the price, the unit doesn’t come cheap at 198,000 Yen (~Php90K) and requires an aibo Basic Plan subscription of 2,980 Yen/mo (~Php1.4K/mo) to be able to use its online features. It will be released in Japan on January 11, 2018.