Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Too Cute to Resist: Sony's New Robot Puppy Carries Big AI Ambition

Sony had to put its previous version of the dog down when its business struggledMore Sony had to put its previous version of the dog down when its business struggledMore
Heather Davidson | 02 November, 2017, 00:52

Aibo, the artificial-intelligence-powered hound, wags its tail, chases pink balls and can learn new tricks like giving its owner a high five.

Aibo will go on sale in January for 198,000 yen (£1,306) in Japan, with foreign sales being evaluated.

The two announcements came one day after Sony forecasted a historical-high profit this year in its second-quarter (ending September 30) financial report.

The original was advanced for its time, responding to commands and meant to recognise its owners.

In addition to these improvements, Aibo also incorporates new actuator technology, which allows it to move in a more lifelike manner. 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".

The new version (which Sony is marketing as "aibo" instead of the prior "AIBO") comes equipped with a powerful computer chip, OLED displays for eyes and the ability to connect to mobile networks.

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.

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Harris, of Olney , Maryland , died at the scene, while the passenger was uninjured. The boy was taken with life-threatening injuries to a local hospital, police said.

Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai unveiled the new robotic pup in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Aibo might sound like the flawless addition to your family, but don't get too excited about the possibility: Sony says the next-generation robot dog is only scheduled to launch in Japan.

In a press release, Sony highlights "irresistible cuteness" as Aibo's primary feature.

In 2016, it invested an undisclosed sum in US-based Cogitai, an AI startup focusing on technology that allows machines to learn continually and autonomously from interaction in the real world.

The comeback of Aibo is not only good news to pet owners, but also a declaration of Sony's transition from a consumer electronics manufacturer to a leading voice in A.I.

Earlier this year, Sony's education arm launched its first product, Koov, which aims to teach children coding through building and programming robots using plastic blocks.

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