Pets beg for our attention. But we are busy people, always hooked to something or the other. We might not be there to feed them, take them for walks, clean their poop and even get mad when they break your expensive china. Thanks to Sony, you can now have a dog you don’t need to worry about. Why? Because it’s a robot.
Sony recently brought back its robotic dog, Aibo after shelving it in 2006. After a long break, Aibo has returned and will be on sale next year.
The newest robo-dog has received some serious upgrades from its older sibling. Aibo is designed as a hound, made out of plastic with black flappy ears, a wagging tail and an ivory white coat. It is being marketed as a pet that behaves like a real dog. Its dog-like activities are controlled by an artificial intelligence program which learns and interacts with its surroundings. The bot is packed with a bevy of sensors, microphones, cameras and yes, internet. It uses cloud computing to make use of a more advanced AI system.
Aibo’s eyes are made out of OLED panels to display emotions. One of the biggest changes is the addition of advanced actuators which enable a smoother and more natural movement of the bot compared to its predecessor. A nose mounted camera helps the bot recognize its owner and it even runs out to him. It can detect smiles and praises and learn stuff that can praise its own – just like a real dog.According to the Guardian, Sony tinkered with entertainment bots like the Aibo (first generation) in 1999 and sold its initial batch of 3,000 bots in 20 minutes. They shipped 150,000 dogs in Japan before stopping production in 2007. The Aibo’s revival comes after Sony invested an undisclosed amount to a US based AI firm, Cogitai that allows machines to learn continuously and autonomously from interactions in the real world.