Sony Has a New Aibo Robot Dog and It’s a Bit Disappointing
Not everyone might remember the Aibo robot dog Sony released back in the 90s, 1999 to be exact. It garnered a lot of attention at the time, but the technology of the 90s wasn’t good enough for Aibo to go on to become a long-term product.
That might change with the revival of this cute robot dog. At CES 2018, the Japanese company showed off the newest version of the Aibo, and you know what? It’s not half bad. Sony manages to put a lot of tech into this little product, which includes around 4,000 parts for it to act life-like.
To make things interesting, the robot has a camera on its nose in order for it to recognize family members and friends. Additionally, it has another camera on its tail to map your home, so it will never become lost.
As expected, the new Aibo comes with several sensors, which means, if the owner pets it on the head, back, and under the chin, the robot will respond in an affectionate matter that is similar to a real dog. In fact, the device will move in similar ways to a puppy with an overabundance amount of energy.
Aibo is a toy first
When Sony first released the Aibo 19-years ago, it was merely a toy then. However, with the advancements in robot technology and artificial intelligence, we believe Sony dropped the ball on this one.
It’s clear that Sony wants a product that is more geared towards children, but just imagine if it was smarter and pushed the boundaries where robotics is concerned? Eventually, we’ll be a part of a future where robot dogs are common since there’s no need to clean up after them and they do not give off allergies.
At the same time, the new Aibo is a way for Sony to reestablish itself in the world of robotics and artificial intelligence because competitors such as Google, Amazon, and others, have more experience in the field.
“Aibo is such a symbolic presence that is directly linked to our brand,” says Izumi Kawanishi, a Sony executive in charge of the company’s AI and robotics businesses. “Everybody wanted to do robots so people just came together [for the Aibo project].”
Aibo doesn’t come cheap
Here’s the thing, the new robot dog from Sony will hit Japanese stores for the cool price of ¥198,000, which is approximately $1,770. That’s very expensive for a product that doesn’t do much outside of acting like a dog and facial recognition.
We should point out that Aibo will send and receive data from the cloud to improve its overall performance. Chances are, Sony will use the information collected to come up with a new Aibo in the future that is more useful, probably something along the lines of the Jibo.
Jibo is also an expensive robot, but it’s more useful, but not so much when compared to Amazon Alexa and Google Home.