Sony’s aibo robotic dog can sit, fetch and learn what its owner likes

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Aibo, a $2,899 robotic dog from Sony, just might scamper its way onto some wish lists this holiday season.

Hoping to replicate the dog’s popularity in Japan — where the electronic pets have a rabid following — Sony is unleashing a limited-edition litter of aibo robotic dogs in the United States by the end of the year.

The aibo has OLEDs for eyes — like those used in Sony’s television displays — a camera in its nose and on its back, plus sensors on its back, head and chin that allow it to feel you petting it. It also has microphones, actuators and other technology that when combined with artificial intelligence allow the robotic companion to learn its owner’s behavior and react accordingly.

Aibo owners will need patience. It was sometimes slow to respond and didn’t sit when I asked it to, somewhat like my real dog at home. But it also danced when I asked it to, unlike my real dog, Sherman, whose only care in the world is playing with a ball.

“AI makes the decision,” said Angel Vizcarra, senior marketing specialist for Sony and aibo’s favorite person in the newsroom conference room, where the demo took place this week. “He may say no” to some of the many commands its owner issues, Vizcarra said. For now, the dog can handle about 30 commands, including “sing,” “high five,” and “bang bang” — after which it rolls over and plays dead.

Some of the commands are customizable. For example, Vizcarra asked aibo to “learn,” then grabbed its paws and moved them back and forth a few times. Having learned the pattern, the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


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