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More than a decade ago, Sony stunned the world with the release of Aibo, an artificially intelligent robot that behaved like a real dog.

But the robo-dogs were discontinued in 2006 as part of a massive cost-cutting scheme from the Japanese technology giant.

Now, Sony has revived Aibo, a robot that learns how to interact with its owner and is ‘capable of building loving relationships’, according to Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai.

The new version of the 30-centimetre (one foot) hound will launch in Japan in January but will not come cheap, priced at around £1,300 ($1,750).

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THE NEW AIBO

Aibo is billed as a pet that behaves like a puppy using artificial intelligence (AI) to learn and interact with its owner and surroundings. 

The reborn Aibo features new actuator technology allowing it move more smoothly and naturally like a real dog.

With sensing and AI technologies, Aibo can run toward its owner and detect smiles and words of praise, and can remember what actions please the owner.

Its eyes are made of organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays making it capable of diverse expressions.

The robot comes with an array of sensors, cameras and microphones and boasts internet connectivity, allowing owners to play with the pet remotely via smartphone. 

Aibo is billed as a pet that behaves like a puppy using artificial intelligence (AI) to learn and interact with its owner and surroundings. 

Sony’s new ‘Aibo’ is ivory-white and puppy-sized, with flapping black ears, a wagging tail and the ability to roll its eyes.

It is now equipped with new sensing and movement technologies as well as far more advanced AI backed by cloud computing to develop the dog’s personality. 

It comes with an array of sensors, cameras and microphones and boasts internet connectivity, allowing owners to play with the pet remotely via smartphone.

It was announced yesterday at a Sony news briefing in Tokyo, with the firm saying it is considering sales beyond Japan in future.

Sony rolled out the first-generation Aibo in 1999, with the initial batch of 3,000 selling out in just 20 minutes, despite a hefty price tag of nearly £1,650 ($2,200).

Over the following years, more than 150,000 units were sold, with numerous models ranging from gleaming metallic-silver versions to round-faced cub-like models.

But by 2006, Sony was in trouble, with a broken business model and fierce competition from rivals in all fields.

The Aibo, an expensive and somewhat frivolous luxury, had to go.

Sony has revived Aibo, a robot that learns how to interact with its owner and is 'capable of building loving relationships', according to Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai. The new version of the 30-centimetre (one foot) hound will launch in Japan in January  (pictured)

Sony has revived Aibo, a robot that learns how to interact with its owner and is ‘capable of building loving relationships’, according to Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai. The new version of the 30-centimetre (one foot) hound will launch in Japan in January (pictured)

Sony has revived Aibo, with a new AI canine that displays emotions and can control internet-connected devices around the home

Sony has revived Aibo, with a new AI canine that displays emotions and can control internet-connected devices around the home

Sony has revived Aibo, with a new AI canine that displays emotions and can control internet-connected devices around the home

The new version of the 30-centimetre (one foot) hound will launch in Japan in January but will not come cheap, priced at around £1,300 ($1,750)

The new version of the 30-centimetre (one foot) hound will launch in Japan in January but will not come cheap, priced at around £1,300 ($1,750)

The new version of the 30-centimetre (one foot) hound will launch in Japan in January but will not come cheap, priced at around £1,300 ($1,750)

Aibo is billed as a pet that behaves like a puppy using artificial intelligence (AI) to learn and interact with its owner and surroundings

Aibo is billed as a pet that behaves like a puppy using artificial intelligence (AI) to learn and interact with its owner and surroundings

Aibo is billed as a pet that behaves like a puppy using artificial intelligence (AI) to learn and interact with its owner and surroundings

THE ORIGINAL AIBO

Sony launched its artificial intelligence based robotic dog named Aibo in 1999. 

The robot’s personality was shaped by its interactions with its owner and surroundings. 

The initial ERS-110 Aibo model hardware included a 64-bit RISC processor, 16 megabytes of RAM, sensors (touch, camera, range-finder, microphone, acceleration, angular velocity), a speaker and actuators (legs, neck, mouth, tail). 

Sony launched its artificial intelligence based robotic dog named Aibo (pictured) in 1999. The robot's personality was shaped by its interactions with its owner and surroundings

Sony launched its artificial intelligence based robotic dog named Aibo (pictured) in 1999. The robot's personality was shaped by its interactions with its owner and surroundings

Sony launched its artificial intelligence based robotic dog named Aibo (pictured) in 1999. The robot’s personality was shaped by its interactions with its owner and surroundings

As the series developed, more sensors and actuators were added. 

Wi-Fi was available as an add on for some second-generation AIBOs. 

The third and final family of AIBOs, the ERS-7s, had multiple head and body sensors, clicking ear actuators, a chest-mounted proximity sensor, expressive ‘Illume-Face’ and Wi-Fi.

The robo-dogs were discontinued in 2006 after increased competition in the Asian markets led to massive cost cutting.

The original Aibo (pictured), alongside all models, was discontinued in 2006 after increased competition in the Asian markets led to massive cost cutting

The original Aibo (pictured), alongside all models, was discontinued in 2006 after increased competition in the Asian markets led to massive cost cutting

The original Aibo (pictured), alongside all models, was discontinued in 2006 after increased competition in the Asian markets led to massive cost cutting

The company kept its ‘Aibo clinic’ open until March 2014, but then told dedicated owners they were on their own, prompting retired Sony engineers to offer repairs. 

‘It was a difficult decision to stop the project in 2006, but we continued development in AI and robotics,’ CEO Kazuo Hirai said.

‘I asked our…



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