Sony Putting The AI In Aibo

Bringing 6th-generation cyberpup to retail
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Sony’s AI robotics exec Izumi Kawanishi and North America electronics chief Mike Fasulo introduce the sixth-generation Aibo.

Sony’s AI robotics exec Izumi Kawanishi and North America electronics chief Mike Fasulo introduce the sixth-generation Aibo.

Sony is unleashing the full gamut of its technological prowess for an updated Aibo cyberpup.

The 19-year-old perennial puppy will return to America next month with more smarts, smoother movements and a bigger “personality,” thanks to the inclusion of AI and machine-learning technologies, loads of sensors and actuators, and OLED eyes.

Unlike the five previous generations, the latest Aibo learns through experience and evolves its behavior to interact uniquely with each owner.

To accomplish that, the Wi-Fi- and mobile-enabled dog connects to an AI engine via Amazon’s AWS Cloud computing service, and can learn to recognize faces and expressions, remember and locate rooms, and even make its way to a charging station when hungry.

Related: Don’t Kick The Robots

In a presentation this morning at Sony’s new New York headquarters, president/COO Mike Fasulo described the new, improved Aibo as the embodiment of the company’s “Kando” philosophy of developing products that create emotional connections with consumers.

He was joined by Izumi Kawanishi, senior VP of Sony’s AI robotics business, who said some 20,000 units have been sold through July in Japan, where the updated robot pooch was introduced seven months ago.

In the U.S., Aibo will be offered in a limited First Litter Edition bundle that includes the mechanical canine, doggy toy accessories, an individually numbered dog tag, and a three-year subscription to the AI Cloud plan.

The package will fetch a suggested retail price of $2,899.

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