Friday, 24 November, 2017

Sony brings Aibo back from the dead

Sony aibo robot dog returns finally looks moves like a dog Record profit forecast for a resurgent Sony sends shares to nine-year high
Delores Daniels | 02 November, 2017, 00:49

He further adds, "I asked our engineers a year and a half ago to develop (new) AIBO because I strongly believe robots capable of building loving relationships with people help realize Sony's mission (to inspire)". The central part of the robots' eyes are made of organic electroluminescence displays that can display bright colors, so it has a range of facial expressions.

"It was a hard decision to stop the project in 2006, but we continued development in AI and robotics", Kazuo Hirai, Sony's chief executive officer, said in a news briefing. The Aibo will launch in Japan in January at around $1,750.

This latest version of Aibo certainly looks more like a dog than its predecessors, with a more rounded appearance compared the blocky nature of the dogs of old. It is billed as a pet that behaves like a real dog, except it uses AI, not canine instinct, to learn and interact with its owner and surroundings.

The original AIBO was released in 1999 and at least 150,000 dogs were sold before production was stopped due to the downturn of Sony's core consumer electronics business against Asian rivals due to product prices. With sensing and AI technologies, AIBO can run toward its owner and detect smiles and words of praise, and can remember what actions please the owner. Aibo, meaning partner in Japanese (but which neatly also stands for AI bot), had new models released every year until 2005.

Two fish-eye cameras with room mapping capabilities also feature, along with a suite of sensors (including motion, light, pressure and distance), a built-in speaker for yappy sounds and a battery that's said to last for 2 hours before needing to return to its charging station for 3 hours. Sony hasn't announced a launch date for the US market yet.

Also this morning, Sony announced a corporate strategy to concentrate efforts in artificial intelligence and robotics and offer more products powered by these technologies in the future. AI start up called Cogitai that focuses on technology allowing machines to learn autonomously and continually from interaction in the real world.

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