Sony’s aibo dog robots were incredibly popular when they first came out in 1999 despite their boxy appearance, and subsequent versions became more and more dog-like until they were discontinued in 2006. Now, more than 10 years later, Sony has revisited the aibo robodog and modern advances in technology have made it incredibly realistic compared to its predecessors.
The aibo robodog’s enhancements include facial recognition, four microphones that allow it to recognize spoken words, and touch sensors on the back, head and jaw so it can react to being petted. It also has multiple sensors for things such as motion, light, distance and pressure, along with two fish-eye cameras that include mapping technology. And of course, there is a speaker for barking and other dog noises to complete the effect.
The aibo also has a 64-bit quad-core brain equipped with deep learning technology that can collect data and upload it to the cloud, allowing the robodog to develop “its own unique personality through everyday interactions as it grows closer and closer to its owners.”