Sony Aibo is reborn as a modern-day puppy pal


The 2017 Aibo is capable of a wide range of expressions and movements that resemble a real dog, such as tail wagging, head tilting and even shaking off. The upgraded Aibo is now packed with an array of sensors, cameras, microphones and internet connectivity, as well as far more advanced AI backed by cloud computing to develop the dog's personality.

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. Shipments will start on January 11, 2018. With its new sensing and AI technologies, AIBO can also run towards its owner and detect smiles and praises.

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

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On Wednesday, Sony Corporation announced that they have relaunched their pet AI project and updated AIBO a decade after he was first introduced as the company's bid to rebuild its reputation as a pioneer for innovation after its restructuring is complete.

The original Aibo was released in 1999 as an entertainment robot, although it gained popularity among robotics researchers and early e-sports with Robocup Aibo football matches.

The new version (which Sony is marketing as "aibo" instead of the prior "AIBO") comes equipped with a powerful computer chip, OLED displays for eyes and the ability to connect to mobile networks. Over the next few years, Sony launched two more Aibo generations, but interest waned as more affordable robots entered the market. It invested an undisclosed sum past year in Cogitai, a U.S. The time is nigh for a comeback, says Sony boss Kaz Hirai, as a flawless storm of better battery life, internet connectivity and the chance to put the modern buzzwords "artificial" and "intelligence" on the thing's box has arrived. AI start up called Cogitai that focuses on technology allowing machines to learn autonomously and continually from interaction in the real world.