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Aibo is back!

November 2, 2017.

Aibo ERS-1000.

Aibo ERS-1000.

ERS-1000. © Sony Corporation.

Rumours about the resurrection of Aibo the dogbot proved true. Eleven years after his demise, Sony announced the imminent arrival of a new puppy. Called “aibo” (all in lower case), model ERS-1000 is cuter, smarter and more interactive than its predecessors. With a plumper silhouette, floppy ears, a cute button-nose and padded paws, aibo indeed looks more like a toy dog than model ERS-7 (2001-2006), whose design was more abstract and “futuristic”. In fact, aibo is closer in design to model ERS-300 (released in 2001), which had been drawn by illustrator Katsura Moshino. Loaded with sensors, the ERS-1000 can scan its visual and sound environment, recognize faces and perform simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM). With its artificial intelligence, aibo can analyze commands, interpret smiles, respond to petting, and learn and adapt its behaviour accordingly. aibo’s eyes are in fact OLED screens, giving it a particularly expressive, lively gaze. Controlled by a 64-bit processor, aibo’s power consumption is 14 watts, its battery lasts about two hours, it weighs 2.2kg and measures 180x293x305mm. Owners must subscribe to a plan (CA$30 per month) to save aibo’s data and lessons learned in the cloud. Should aibo sustain fatal injuries, its personality can be downloaded to a replacement aibo (the stuff of science-fiction, right?). aibo will be available on January 11, 2018 (the Year of the Dog), only in Japan to start, for JPY198,000 (CA$2,200) before taxes.

IEEE Spectrum, “Sony unleashes new Aibo robot dog.”