Sony revives Aibo robot dog after 11 years

Sony revives Aibo robot dog after 11 years

The announcement comes a day after Sony confirmed its renaissance by forecasting its highest-ever profit this financial year, sending its shares surging to a nine-year high, and is part of the company's attempts to rekindle its pioneering prowess after years of restructuring. The central part of the robots' eyes are made of organic electroluminescence displays that can display bright colors, so it has a range of facial expressions.

"It was a hard decision to stop the project in 2006, but we continued development in AI and robotics", chief executive Kazuo Hirai said at a news briefing. It will go on sale in Japan in January, priced at ¥198,000 ($1,740) before tax.

Aibo weighs 2.2 kilograms (4.85 pounds), has ivory white skin and black ears that pull slightly back when you pet him, and can follow you around the house and fetch a ball. Japanese electronics giant Sony's Aibo pet is making a return after more than a decade away. It is capable of learning and interacting with both its owner and its surroundings.

The reborn AIBO features new actuator technology allowing it move more smoothly and naturally like a real dog.

The original Aibo was released in 1999 as an entertainment robot, although it gained popularity among robotics researchers and early e-sports with Robocup Aibo football matches.

Aibo might sound like the ideal addition to your family, but don't get too excited about the possibility: Sony says the next-generation robot dog is only scheduled to launch in Japan. With its new sensing and AI technologies, AIBO can also run towards its owner and detect smiles and praises.

The robot can also record and take photos of what it experiences, according to its owner's preferences, and can create a database of memories.

The gadget is a reminder of Sony's pioneering past in robotics and artificial intelligence. Furthermore, Sony has invested in a U.S. Two months later, it started a venture capital fund called Sony Innovation Fund aiming at A.I. and robotics startups.