Today, Sony announced that it had revived the AIBO project more than a decade after its predecessor. This announcement follows Sony’s confirmation of its amazing improvement yesterday by revealing the profit for this financial year, working up in shares rushing towards a 9-year high.
The ‘pet’ AIBO can behave like a real dog, thanks to AI for learning and interacting as per surroundings. It is an upgrade with new sensors and movement technologies and advanced AI, powered by cloud computing, for dog personality development.
AIBO is going for sale in Japan this January for a price of 198,000 yen or $1,739, and Sony is also thinking of overseas sales.
In 1999, the predecessor was made by Sony, being a pioneer in the field of entertainment robots. For 7 years, they sold 150,000 dogs and then – had to cease production when business suffered in price wars in the the-then emerging competitive Asian market.
At a news briefing, CEO Kazuo Hirai stated that they continued developments in AI and robotics, even after scrapping the project in 2006. “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 realise Sony’s mission (to inspire).”
AIBO’s revived model features a new actuator technology for a sublime and natural movement like that of a real dog. The sensing and AI techs let the dog run towards the owner or admirer, detect emotions, and even remember the actions that please the owner. The diversely expressive eyes are made of organic light, providing OLED displays.
This is an enticing move by Sony in the industry among the big rivals like Apple and Google. Before the revival, the investment of the company in Cogitai last year was another progressive action by Sony, showing dedication toward machine learning and AI.
In fact, there is a series of Sony’s moves in the last two years that signify its urge in proceeding in the market of AI and robotics.