Hot Dog! A (best) friend named Aibo.

Takanobu Kishi Sony Takanobu Kishi | Sony

“In January, Sony held a special event at its headquarters in Tokyo. It was a “birthday ceremony” for the new edition of the company’s robot dog, Aibo. Amid a storm of camera flashes, Izumi Kawanishi, head of the company’s artificial intelligence and robot group, gingerly lifted the droid out of its cocoonlike packaging. Its eyes winked on. It shook its body, stretched, raised its paw in greeting and emitted a few synthetic barks. A robot star was reborn.” – Sony’s new robot dog Aibo barks, does tricks and charms animal lovers – Tim Hornyak, CNBC, April 9, 2018

Wow!  What a demonstration! If this robot dog can do exactly as advertised then we may have something that the public can get into.  Robotic humans come off too dangerous and threaten our own personal usefulness.  Self driving cars, not exactly the same, but can be very dangerous.  But a robot dog?!?! Especially one that we can practically take in all of the good things about a pet without the bad?  Being a dog lover, not sure there is a bad – but there are rainy or frigid days that the walk is difficult and if you don’t the cleanup inside can become frustrating.  But at less than $2k, heck! there are many dogs that people buy at PetStores or from Breeders costing far more than this.  If only I could get one that looks like a blue eyed husky! My daughter would love it!  Father of the Year award for sure!

From what I understand the development began around 2006 but was halted due to many unrelated issues they were trying to resolve.  The return was announced in November 2016 and have had five sales, all selling out quickly.

The Aibo is designed to form an “emotional bond” with owners, according to Sony. It’s look has been upgraded along with movements and sound. It is also has facial recognition to distinguish family members and is outfitted with AI capabilities to enable it to develop its own personality over time.

With it’s AI, machine learning and cloud connectivity, this could be one of the first of its kind to gain some traction out on the retail market. Google, Hasbro, Amazon and Jibo all have products in the market, but nothing seems to match this depth and matureness.

What a wonderful option for those with disabilities that don’t allow them to have pets, or are afraid of live animals.  I would believe this pet could be so real but you still get the feel it is a tech product.  Guard dogs?  Search Dogs?

I am sure there are concerns, but I am still overwhelmed of the positives! I may need to add to the post some deep thought at a later time.

Would you disagree with me? What are your thoughts on the applications and concerns?

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