Cloud-connected aibo for USA
Written by Lucy Black   
Sunday, 26 August 2018

Following the recent reintroduction of aibo in Japan, Sony's First Litter Edition for the U.S. will be a limited, all-in-one aibo bundle at a suggested retail price of $2,899, with delivery in time for the holidays.

aibobanner

Announced last November and initially only for the Japanese market, aibo is the sixth generation of Sony’s robot dog. The biggest difference from previous models, apart from the all lower case name to signal its puppy status is a new cloud-based AI engine. This relies on a powerful on-board computer and advanced image sensors to make aibo smart enough to recognize its owner’s face, detect smiles and words of praise, and learn new tricks over time.

Sony has already sold 20,000 aibos to Japanese consumers and is now introducing them to the United States with a limited First Litter Edition bundle. Orders can be placed starting in September with expected delivery before the holidays.

aibobundle


In addition to a "newborn" aibo and its charging station, the First Litter Edition bundle, specifically made for the US launch, includes a pink ball and an "aibone," and an individually numbered commemorative dog tag. It also comes with a 3-year AI Cloud Plan which lets users access aibo features via Wi-Fi and enables aibo to upload its day-to-day life experiences to Sony's AI engine. This database of memories is accessed to form each aibo's unique personality, which evolves over time.

Users can also access the "My aibo" app.  In addition to accessing system settings and owner information, the app's user interface allows owners to view and share their aibo's pictures, as well as add "tricks" to its repertoire. In addition to new software, aibo has new hardware. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, with 4 GB RAM and 32 GB ROM, plus Wi-Fi and LTE. It also integrates two cameras (one for image recognition and one for SLAM), time-of-flight sensor, three touch sensors, four microphones, motion detector, light detector, and inertial measurement units in the head and body. To move its neck, mouth, legs, ears, and tail, aibo uses 1- and 2-axis actuators, for a total of 22 degrees of freedom. Its eyes are OLED displays. 

According to the Sony press release, artificial intelligence really is part of aibo's make-up.

No two aibo companion robots are the same. Each owner's approach to raising their aibo shapes its personality, behavior and knowledge, creating a unique environment for growth. In fact, aibo is able to learn new tricks through owners' interactions, experiences with changing seasons and different events. Not content to sit and wait to be beckoned, aibo will actively seek out its owners and can recognize their faces. It can also detect words of praise and smiles, as well as react to being petted or scratched on the head. 

sonyaibo

The original AIBO was fun to have around and, with its increased capacity for responsiveness, aibo should prove an even more delightful companion.

If you want to know how aibo is assembled then this video shows the process - although watching it might diminish the idea of it being a "real" pet.

 

 

More Information

Sony Announces Limited First Litter Edition Release of aibo in U.S

 

 

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 26 August 2018 )