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Sony brings back Aibo, teaches old dog new tricks

02 November 2017

Sony pioneered entertainment robots with AIBO in 1999. But now, with tech giants marching into artificial intelligence, Sony has chose to get back in the game. It has flapping black ears and a wagging tail. Aibo has the ability to roll its eyes to display emotions.

According to a statement made by Sony: "Aibo can form an emotional bond with new members of the household while providing them with love, affection and the joy of nurturing and raising a companion".

The new Aibo's tech and smart systems come at a price; starting at 198,000 Yen around £1,300, with a monthly subscription to its smart services costing around £20. Other than that it comes with cameras, microphones, boasts internet connectivity and an array of sensors.

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In a news briefing to introduce AIBO, Sony's Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai said "It was a hard decision to stop the project in 2006, but we continued development in AI and robotics".

Sony Corp. announced Wednesday that it is scheduled to release a new doglike "aibo" robot on January 11, 2018. Sony developed ultra-compact single- and dual-axis actuators that give Aibo "hundreds" of different movements and gestures, making it appear more dog-like. AI start-up focusing on technology that allows machines to learn continually and autonomously from interaction in the real world.

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Earlier this year, Sony's education arm launched its first product, Koov, which aims to teach children coding through building and programming robots using plastic blocks.

The comeback of Aibo is not only good news to pet owners, but also a declaration of Sony's transition from a consumer electronics manufacturer to a leading voice in A.I. The firm also established a venture capital fund to build partnerships with AI start ups and robotics as well as researchers.

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Sony brings back Aibo, teaches old dog new tricks