13:28 12 April 2018
In 2006, Sony was forced to cancel the original Aibo series as it struggled with legacy mainlines businesses, such as televisions. But with the improvement of technology for sensors and the spread of broadband and wireless communications, the return of Aibo was announced last November.
Sony said that the new Aibo is designed to be an autonomous entertainment robot that can form an “emotional bond” with owners. It features a more realistic muzzle with two lively OLED eyes, ears, tails, body movements and voice, which it uses to express itself.
Sony said: "The first AIBO launched in 1999. Since then, the technology for sensors, actuators etc. has improved, and the spread of broadband and wireless communications has created an environment where an entertainment robot can be perpetually connected to the internet. We believe this product represents a perfect opportunity to showcase what you can do when using the latest, most cutting-edge technology available."
Kansuke Nishida, a writer for Robotstart.info and head of IT design and consulting firm Tonosama Labo, said: "It's got a cute design and more natural motion; the 'robotness' of the previous model is gone. When Aibo came to our home for the first time, my daughter took out a picture book to read with her mother. Aibo was next to them and seemed to be reading the book with them. That kind of experience is impossible with other robots."