This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) brings in a whole slew of devices and other gadgets to look forward to. One such “gadget,” technically speaking, is the return of the Sony Aibo. But what exactly is the Aibo and why are so many people making such a fuss over it?
What is the Sony Aibo?
Some techies may already be a bit familiar with the Aibo, as this series of robotic pets first came to light back in 1999. Essentially, the Aibo is Sony’s line of robot dogs. However, its comeback at CES 2018 not only brought in the nostalgia factor, it also wowed audiences with its improved intelligence.
The New and Improved Aibo
Despite being a robot dog, the Aibo is one of the closest artificial intelligence pets in the market that is similar to real canines thus far. Three touch sensors (located on its back, under its chin, and on the top of its head) allow users to pet it like they would with their real dog.
Additionally, the robot dog also responds to voice commands. Just like with real dogs, the Aibo’s accuracy in responding to orders such as “sit” and “speak” depend on how well-trained it is. According to reports, the Aibo’s responses to such commands come with motions and sounds similar to that of actual dogs’ which many have come to know and love.
OLED displays give the Aibo a deeper degree of expression in its eyes. Unlike previous entries in the series, the new Aibo boasts of more realistic movements thanks to its 22 actuators. Furthermore, the camera on its nose allows it to “sniff” out its bone (for the Aibo, its bone is called the Aibone). On the other hand, the camera on its back allows the Aibo to guide itself to its charging station.
Other Specs and Battery Life
To add even more to its already life-like motions, the Aibo also has an illuminance sensor so that it can perceive its owner’s presence from behind. To sense its other surroundings within a close proximity, the Aibo has one Time of Flight sensor. It also has four microphones.
Upon charging, the Aibo can operate for two hours before its battery will need some juice again. Reportedly, charging takes three hours.
Price and Where to Buy
An exact price and release date for the Sony Aibo in the US has yet to be determined. However, Sony vows that its robotic dog will see a 2018 release with a price tag of less than $2,000 in the US. Currently, the Aibo is only available in Japan.