Companionship is an essential part of life, but it comes in many shapes and sizes. In this fast changing and hi-tech world companionship is no longer limited to the living. Instead now we also have a new option, the robotic. Leading the charge of robotic companions Sony has reintroduced its popular robotic pooch Aibo.
The original Aibo was first released in 1999 and quickly won the hearts of many with its cute looks, life like personality and advanced robotic smarts. The 21 century Aibo takes this even further with cuter styling and the integration of Artificial Intelligence along with an abundance of computing power.
Aibo’s new electronic brain is a Snapdragon 840 with 32GB of ROM and 4GB of RAM, but this is only its local storage for immediate interaction. Using cloud-based storage and processing power Aibo will store and evolve what it learns in ways that weren’t possible 20 years ago. Like any newborn puppy Aibo will take time to mature and bond with its owner. How you train it in the first year will affect its personality, so treat your Aibo well and provide plenty of positive reinforcement.
Out of the box Aibo comes with basic pooch behaviours like shake hands, sit, fetch and play dead. Sony is planning to release more advanced behaviours that can be applied through the mobile phone app. You can also teach Aibo yourself by physically moving its limbs into position and getting it to remember them. This makes Aibo far more flexible and trainable than the original.
To sense the world around it Aibo is endowed with many electronic sensors. Camera’s allow Aibo to recognize the world along with driving facial recognition and smile detection. Microphones capture the commands of its masters voice. Touch sensors allow it to recognize when it is being patted.
With puppy like cutes and Sony smarts Aibo is bound to be a hit amongst tech lovers around the world. With the Japanese release under its belt Sony is now preparing to take orders for the American market just in time for the Christmas rush. At $2900 USD for the first batch the price may put off many potential Aibo owners but the fact out won’t soil your rug or rack up any vet bills should offset the price for many.