Sony’s Robotic Dog Gets 4 Paws Up at CES

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
Sony’s robotic dog, Aibo, is making all kinds of new friends at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and proves that you can teach a robotic dog new tricks!

We told you about the adorable 2017 version of Aibo in November, when we fell in love with his puppy dog eyes! Preorders began then, and this week, Sony has announced that the Aibo will begin shipping in Japan next week.

Sony launched the first Aibo in the 90s, and has been making robotic dogs for over two decades. They stopped making the original Aibo (Artificial Intelligence Bot) in 2006 but revived it and to great excitement! The preorders for the robotic dog ran a consumer about ¥198,000, which is about $1740 USD. But the price didn’t stop those who are goo-goo for the little guy, as Sony says their demand is pretty healthy.

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And why wouldn’t it be? AIbo can dance, find his bone and knows the difference between people in your family. And you don’t even have to scoop his poop!

The latest version’s organic light-emitting-diode (OLED) eyes are what draws people in…they look incredibly realistic (for a robotic pup) and allows it to give very specific expressions that make it seem in tune with you.

As is the cool thing with all artificial intelligence, as well as new puppies, the Aibo will develop his/her own personality over time as it settles in with your family. The facial recognition features it has allow it to recognize who’s who in your family, so, much like real puppies, it will gravitate to the family members who tend to love it the most and best. (No pressure, family members vying for its love!) It also has technology that allows it to decipher between objects so it can actually and specifically look for its bone. This is because the main camera is in its nose–much like real dogs, the Aibo uses his sniffer for mega loads of information.

He also responds to touch due to his touch sensors on his chin, back and head, and its little head shakes back and forth realistically like your adorable puppy does (typically with your favorite shoes in mouth!).

The AIBO is a companion robot for now, but as it understands English and Japanese, with more languages to come, it isn’t out of the question that one day, it could be a competitor to Amazon Echo’s Alexa or Google Home’s Assistant. Let’s face it…your robotic puppy telling you what the square root of 9,342,332 will be so much more fun, right?

Related: Google Photos Now Has Facial Image Recognition For Your Pets

For now, though…those in Japan are the ones who get to call this little pet their own, but Sony says that they are looking at expanding their market, though they aren’t sure when that’ll happen.

That’s okay. We know how to sit and stay until it comes our way!

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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