On Wednesday Japan’s Sony Corp. announced that it is unveiling its iconic robotic dog, aibo. The company has refreshed the product using advanced mechatronics, AI backed by cloud computing as well as new sensing and movement technologies.
The new version is based on a powerful computer chip. It includes OLED displays for eyes and it has the ability to connect to mobile networks. The new pet toy responds to voice commands and can bark, sit and wag its tail as it is smarter than its predecessor.
The new robot dog is designed with a fisheye camera in the nose and a second camera near the rear. These cameras contain the sensors that can detect and analyze sounds and images, and help aibo for recognizing its owner’s faces. It can run toward its owner, and detect smiles, words and actions of the owner. The robot has the ability to adapt its environment as it has in-built localization and mapping (SLAM) technology.
The product is small enough to be picked up and has rounded edges. Pre-orders begin Wednesday in the Japan in January for 198,000 yen ($1,739) and shipping will start in January.
Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai said, “I asked our engineers a year and a half ago to develop (new) AIBO because I strongly believe robots capable of building loving relationships with people help realize Sony’s mission (to inspire).”
The firm believes that AI is a future pillar of growth and will help to catch up with major technology companies such as Apple, Facebook, and Alphabet’s Google.