All is well once more in the world of Sony’s financials, so it looks like the organisation’s research and development team has been let off its leash – quite literally. Some of you may remember AIBO, the robotic dog that the Japanese company launched in the late 90s. Well, now the project’s back in the form of a new AI-powered pet simply named Aibo – or ERS-1000 for those who like product codes.
The company claims that the new canine is capable of forming an “emotional bond with members of the household while providing them with love, affection, and the joy of nurturing and raising a companion”. It has multiple articulated points, and two OLED eyes. Even better, this pooch will run out of juice after a couple of hours, so rather than take it out on walks you just need to plug it into the wall.
There’s a lot of cyborg tech packed into this electronic pal: Sony says that it will learn the behaviour of family members and gradually understand the layout of the environment it lives in. It’ll also be connected to the cloud, so that all Aibos contribute to the motorised mammal’s mastermind. Are we living in the future now?
In addition to setting you back an eye-watering ¥198,000 (~$1,700), you’ll also have to pay a ¥2,980 (~$26) monthly fee on the Aibo in order for it to access the cloud. It’s not a cheap investment, then, but you can’t put a price on a synthetic soul mate. Oh, and if you are considering coughing up, make sure you set aside a few extra pennies, as you’ll also be able to purchase a bone accessory named the ‘Aibone’. You know you want it.