Sony Electronics has just officially presented in the US what will be the first edition of his adorable pet-robot Aibo , which has had an unprecedented success in Japan (20,000 units were ordered in seven months). We will have to see what will be the response of the American public, always receptive to new technologies, but always a little more careful with their money.
Following the recent re-introduction of this nice puppy in Japan, the edition we will have in the US will be limited, and will include – in addition to the mascot – 3 years of AI Cloud Plan , a subscription plan necessary to enjoy The features included in "My Aibo app. It will also come with a series of toys from Aibo, as well as a unique plate with the name of your new pet.
Presented as an original idea back in 1999, the current design of Aibo corresponds to the sixth generation developed by Sony Electronics, and uses the latest in artificial intelligence (AI) for an advanced system that not only recognizes faces and objects, but also learns new routines and "grows" cognitively, just as a new pet would come home.
Mike Fasulo, President and CEO of Sony Electronics USA, was in charge of introducing us to Aibo, emphasizing a Japanese word that synthesizes what is behind Aibo: "Kando", that is, sensitivity, emotional connection, emotionality. In other words, Sony does not want to sell us a toy isolated from the world, but one completely permeable to its environment. At home, Aibo will soon be able to locate the different rooms and rooms, learning new tricks from their owners and being an active part of the family. At least, this is what Sony pursues, ensuring that, in the long run, there will not be two Aibos equal in the world.
Aibo has 22 independent axes, which make their movements less robotic and more natural.
"It is a unique product, designed to connect with its owners emotionally," said Fasulo during the presentation. "We seek to offer products that not only entertain, but also enrich our lives." All this -clearly- is much easier to say than done, and before being that adorable puppy that will make us happy at home, Aibo is a robot that has a huge range of sensors and cameras that give it life beyond its battery.
In addition, Aibo has 22 independent axes, which make their movements less robotic and more natural. Its adaptive behavior is possible thanks to an AI structure that uses sensors to detect, analyze and know sounds and images. Like a dog, Aibo communicates by barking, but also uses body communication by moving its tail, ears, mouth, adopting postures and looking at our eyes with its two small circular OLED screens give it an expressivity hardly seen before in other robots.
We were playing with him for a few minutes, and we must say that the body communication item is, without a doubt, the most successful in Aibo. After a moment, Aibo managed to recognize us and follow us with his eyes. Barks, sings and asks to play with him. Each posture and each movement of its tail and ears are recognizable in a dog of flesh and blood, and if what Sony promises is true, surely it will become a beloved character in our homes.
The first edition of the "American" Aibo, with all its accessories and three years of AI Cloud Plan, can be ordered from next September, with a price of $ 2,988 dollars. It is expected that the deliveries of the adorable (and quite expensive) Sony mascot arrive just for Christmas. They just presented it and therefore we will know more details in the course of the following days.
Yes: $ 2,988 dollars is a huge amount of money for a pet-robot. Culturally, the Japanese public is usually much more receptive to this type of artifacts than the western one, and we can not believe that 20,000 units of Aibo have already been ordered there (although we have also known that it is much cheaper there …) From here, We would like to surprise you with an enthusiastic response from our audience, but we really doubt that will happen.