That robotic dog you wanted as a kid is back. And sadly, it’s just as expensive.
Sony had announced that after more than a decade since retiring its robot dog product, the Aibo will be coming back for real.
The new Aibo has also learnt some new tricks. Its AI capability will allow it to learn and recognise people’s faces, and remember and avoid obstacles in a room.
It’ll also be voice-capable and cloud connected, being able to record photos and save them online. For example, saying “take a picture” will trigger the Aibo to take a shot and send it to the cloud, accessible later from a companion app.
“Aibo’s AI learns from interactions with owners and develops a unique personality over time,” says Sony on its website. “With its owner’s permission, Aibo can collect data from these interactions and…become even more clever.”
But with a hefty price tag of $1,740 (¥198,000), Sony’s certainly betting that people are willing to shell out for the nostalgia of the device.
You’ve also got to pay $21 (¥2,500) per month for Aibo’s cloud subscription service, which includes backup and access to the Aibo app.
The Aibo will also come with a bone — a smart one, naturally — called the Aibone (I know right.) That’ll set you back another $22 (¥2980).
But of course, you’re not really paying for a pet, but an AI device.
The Aibo’s battery life reportedly lasts around two hours, and takes three hours to recharge.
The new Aibo is ready for pre-order — but only if you’re in Japan, and will start shipping on Jan. 11.
If you’re not in Japan, though, you’ll just have to make do with a real dog for now.