Sony to resurrect Aibo robot dog, adding AI voice control

posted on Tuesday, 10th October 2017 by Steve May

Robotics  Smart home 

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It looks like Sony is relaunching Aibo, its futuristic robot pet. A return to consumer robotics was hinted at by Sony CEO Kaz Hirai at the January CES. Now Japanese press reports suggest that it has reformed a development team, including engineers who worked on the original Aibo project.

Sony abandoned its robotics division 12 years ago, as it restructured its business. Previously Sony has toyed with the idea of developing robots for industrial use.

A next generation Aibo would be able to leverage developments in AI and Voice Control. Robots have gained commercial traction in Japan, particularly as companions for the elderly. Takashimaya, a premium Ginza store has just opened an entire floor dedicated to consumer robots, a retail first in the country.

Early reports suggest that the new Sony AI pooch will respond to voice commands, and interact with other connected devices around the home. Sony apparently plans to make the proprietary operating system an open platform, to encourage outside developers. A new Aibo could leave the Sony kennels as early as next year.

Sony developed a number of Aibo models during its production run, before moving on to the more humanoid Qrio robot.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

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