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Sony's Aibo robotic dog is back, with new tricks for AI era
02 November 2017, 12:49 | Ruben Fields
Sony had to put its previous version of the dog down when its business struggledMore
The new Aibo is launched in Japan and is available to pre-order. Shipments will start on January 11, 2018.
The announcement for AIBO comes a day after the company's announcement that they foresee its highest-ever profit for 2017, bolstering its shares to a nine-year high.
"Slowly but surely, Aibo will also become more aware of its environment, and as it gains confidence it will learn to walk around an increasingly wider area and respond to situations accordingly".
Making use of deep learning technology courtesy of a cloud connection, the new Aibo is slated to be a good deal smarter than its now ancient predecessor; the original Aibo preceded smartphones. Alongside the robot dog, Sony is launching a 2,980 yen ($26) bone-shaped toy accessory that promises to "spice up your life with Aibo".
Outside developers will also be able to create applications for the new digital pet, which can be downloaded from an app store being developed by Sony.
Proprietary actuators allow smooth freedom of movement along 22 axes, meaning that head, mouth, neck, legs and paws, ears and tail can all move to the groove while OLED eyes offer "lifelike" expressiveness. As discussed before that the first generation of Aibo was rolled out in June 1999, that time 3000 Aibo dogs were sold out just in 20 minutes while the price was 250,000 yen.
"It was a hard decision to stop the project in 2006, but we continued development in AI and robotics", Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai said at a news briefing. AI start-up focusing on technology that allows machines to learn continually and autonomously from interaction in the real world. Aibo, meaning partner in Japanese (but which neatly also stands for AI bot), had new models released every year until 2005. The company on Wednesday announced a new version of Aibo - more than a decade after we last saw the adorable robotic pup. Two months later, it started a venture capital fund called Sony Innovation Fund aiming at A.I. and robotics startups.
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