Sony reinvents man’s best friend with new Aibo robot

Sony has announced a new version of its robot dog Aibo. After more than a decade since the previous pooch, it seems that the company thinks this is the best time to reintroduce it to the world.
Touted to have a “natural curiosity,” Aibo has been redesigned with a more rounded look that’s complete with puppy-dog eyes to be more expressive and lifelike. The goal here is to make it look, curiously enough, less robotic than before.
It’s well-equipped to go through all the motions as a real canine, from eye, ear, and tail movements to various voices. On the technical side, the magic behind them is thanks to ultracompact one- and two-axis actuators and OLEDs in its eyes for that expressive look.
With deep learning, Aibo is capable of eventually developing its own personality based on interaction with its owners — petting, praises, head and back scratches, and smiles. It detects actions with numerous built-in sensors that recognise and analyse sounds and images, along with fish-eye cameras.
Just like a real dog, it’ll look for its owners on its own, but unlike the real deal, it can take a picture of its owners with its embedded cameras, providing a look at a pet’s point of view. To make things even more genuine, Sony has an accessory to go with Aibo, and it’s cleverly called the Aibone. As the name suggests, it’s sort of a high-tech bone that Aibo can bite on and carry, and it costs 2,980 yen or about $26.
While it’s hairless and doesn’t need a toilet, it does need to accumulate data of its interactions, upload it to the cloud, and learn from the info of other Aibo owners to be more intelligent.
Aibo is only available in Japan, and there’s no word whether or not it’ll go overseas. It’s priced at 198,000 yen($1,739).