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Sony Bringing Back A Smarter Aibo Robot

Sony seems to think that you can teach an old dog new tricks, and to prove it it’s bringing back its robotic dog Aibo.

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, Sony reassembled members of the original Aibo team to develop a new version of the robotic companion with voice-controlled smart-assistant capabilities. While smart assistants have mostly taken the form of standalone smart speakers, Sony could have the first smart assistant robot on the market.

A new Aibo would mark a return to consumer robotics for the company 11 years after pulling the plug on the product, despite a small but dedicated fan base.

Up until now Sony has only dabbled in the artificial-intelligence smart-assistant space but mostly through products incorporating both the Google Assistant and Alexa platforms. The Aibo would likely run Sony’s proprietary voice-control product, the eponymous Assistant, but would also be open to third-party developers.

Nikkei said the new Aibo could be released as early as next spring.