On the occasion of the first anniversary of the launch of its autonomous Aibo entertainment robot, Sony (one of the world’s leading manufacturers in consumer electronics) has just presented the Aibo Choco Edition, a chocolate version of its robotic dog ( inspired by the beagle breed).
In addition, the manufacturer announced some improvements, such as the new Aibo Patrol service, which allows the robot to patrol a room and report news, improving the concept of security and entertainment that it had so far.
Aibo is the result of years of research by Sony and this translates into a loyal companion that – quietly – can be adopted as a robotic pet, because it has the artificial intelligence necessary to emulate the behavior of any dog. The new model, as clarified by the manufacturer, is exactly the same as its previous version, except for a series of improvements related to its software.
However, the anniversary edition comes exclusively for Japan. This was announced by Sony through an official statement on its website, adding that the robotic dog will be available in that country from February 1, at a price of 198,000 yen (about $ 1,800 / 1,500 euros to change), being able to hire a monthly plan of 24 euros to have additional services, such as LTE connectivity, security and cloud storage.
Through several sensors and its two cameras, in the nose and above its tail, the smart dog will be able to fulfill tasks of “home surveillance”, which the owners can program through their smart mobile phones, even with the possibility of taking pictures of some areas.
Those who are fortunate to be able to buy this “robotic pet” may enjoy functions such as the registration of persons of interest, a feature that allows Aibo to register in a mobile app the faces and names of up to 10 people. It is also possible to draw maps and routes to determine its route and create patrol zones that it can monitor. Anyway, the manufacturer announced that it continues working to incorporate more functions to its robot and, in that way, to be able to provide a better experience of use.
Even, as detailed by Engadget Japan, Sony will soon open the Aibo API so that third parties can also develop software and services that increase the benefits of this “faithful companion” and its owners can “teach” new tricks. In 2018, the Japanese company launched a pioneer version of the Aibo created in 1999 that included the ability to give affection to its owners, learn new words, gestures, commands and respond to them through an artificial intelligence system in the cloud.
Will this new update be the initial path for a next generation of robotic dogs? Maybe. Although, for now, it is still a device expensive enough to think twice or three times before acquiring it.