The Sony Aibo has been renewed in time for CES 2018; it’s really a back with a bang! But not indeed in the way you might imagine.
You see, this variant of the Sony Aibo has far more artificial intelligence (AI) and sensors roasted into it than the former model; so much so that Sony has angled it around copying an untrained dog. The new hook around the Aibo is that you will have to prepare it through voice instructions and positive support; just like you do a real dog.
Sony Aibo employs a series of sensors and cameras to learn both its environment and your interactions with it; as well as to interact with pair accessories: a pink ball and chewing toy to play with.
Sony announces all of that, within a cute; Rankin and Bass-looking design, will cost less than $2,000 in the US; when it markets later this year; FCC permissions authorizing. At the moment the Sony Aibo is only available in Japan; where it prices 198,000 Yen (about $1,770 / £1,300 / AU$2,250). That’s extremely expensive – but so are most pure-bred puppies; this one won’t ruin your house.
How Sony Aibo Works
While we weren’t actually able to communicate with the Sony Aibo on the CES show stage; we saw it in action from behind a protective wire. This robot responds well to commands; like “sit” and “speak” (and with cute little motions and sounds) with changing accuracy depending on how well it’s been trained.
Plus, Aibo will react to commands and touch interplay variously depending upon who it’s interacting with; with the sense to ‘remember’ up to five various people at a time. All of this will be controlled by a ‘My Aibo’ app launching January 11.
The speed at which it reacts to commands also depends on how accurately it’s been trained, which was apparent judging by the demo we saw. Sony Aibo was a bit late to respond to its trainers’ commands but succeeded to do so within a few seconds.
One possible downside is that the Aibo is promised to last two hours on a charge and take three hours to fully recharge, so don’t expect Aibo to be at attention at all times.
Sony doesn’t yet know when the Aibo will be more widely available, but simply promises to aim for this year and for less than $2,000 in the US. While it’s easy to see the Aibo’s potential as a companion for the elderly or disabled, Sony primarily wants to see families purchase its advanced pup bot. Stay tuned for our full review to see whether you should look to Aibo before heading to the pet store.