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Sony restarts Aibo with AI and extra kawaii

Rumors were right: Sony restarts its robot dog, Aibo, announcing a new four-legged, AI-powered companion robot, with the same brand name but more rounded corners and features Visible facials for an extra kawaii, including a pair of expressive, puppy-dog eyes.

In-depth learning technology, fish-eye cameras and a range of other built-in sensors allow Aibo to detect and analyze sounds and images so they can learn and react to its environment and interact with its owner. .

Sony claims that Aibo's adaptive behavior includes the ability to actively seek out its owners; detect words of praise; smiles; stripes in the head and back; to caress, and more.

With built-in cameras, you can also ask Aibo to take a picture for you – if you want to have an overview of yourself / your family life.

"Aibo's AI learns interactions with its owners and develops a unique personality over time," she writes. "In addition, with the permission of its owners, Aibo can collect data from these interactions, then connect to the cloud and access the accumulated knowledge from the interactions between different owners and their Aibo to become even smarter."

So, basically, if you are comfortable installing a traveling camera, a microphone and a location detection device in your home that is designed to monitor all your actions, listen what you say and download all this information in the cloud. new programming instructions so that the device changes how it acts around you in an intelligence pantomime – this could be the artificial animal for you.

Alternatively, you could do like Sebastian Thrun and become the proud owner of a real life puppy.

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But if the hairless lines and Aibo's plastic smells melt your heart, get ready to jump into a serious yen: The Aibo robot itself costs 198,000 JPY ($ 1,735), but you must also subscribe to the cloud service that powers Aibo's AI.

A basic three year subscription costs JPY 2,980 ($ 26) per month (or ~ $ 790 if you pay in advance for the full three years).

It also seems like Sony is limiting Aibo's release on its home market – at least for the moment. He accepts pre-orders for Aibo from today, via his website, but will not be delivered until January according to Reuters.

Owners of the pet robot can also access an Aibo store via the companion app to shell out even more money to buy additional tips. Add on hardware accessories are also on the slate, like a toy bone with a "provisional" price of $ 26.

Sony also offers another optional care program that offers Aibo owners a 50% discount on repair costs in case of breakdown or damage, and 50% on "checks and balances" for about $ 15 a month. (Presumably it is if you want to pretend that you are taking your pet to the vet.)

The Aibo battery is good for two hours of activity before it needs to be recharged on its charging mat (taking three hours to be fully pressed).

Under its white plastic hood, the bot is powered by a 64-bit Quad-Core processor and embeds LTE and Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11b / g / n radios for connectivity.

On the front of moving parts, the robopup has 22 degrees of freedom. While his eyes are made up of two OLED displays, this allows the new Aibo to have a range of puppy looks.

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The complete list of embedded sensors inside the bot is:

2 cameras (front camera, SLAM camera)
4 microphones
2 PSD sensors
Pressure sensitive / capacitive touch sensor (back sensor)
Capacitive type touch sensor (head sensor, jaw sensor)
6-axis detection system (3-axis gyroscope / 3-axis acceleration) × 2 (head, torso)
Motion sensor
Light sensor
4 skates

The original Aibo went on sale in 1999, with Sony shipping about 150,000 robots before the end of production in 2006.

Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai said at a launch event his Aibo robopup restarted today: "It was a difficult decision to stop the project in 2006, but we continued the development of AI and robotics.

"I asked our engineers a year and a half ago to develop Aibo because I firmly believe that robots capable of building romantic relationships with people are helping to achieve Sony's mission."