SONY has announced the launch of its new robot dog

Herbert Rhodes
November 2, 2017

Sony is banking on the "irresistible cuteness" of its new robot dog to win over consumers.

However, Sony continued their development in AI and robotics to develop a newly improved AIBO to show consumers the company's mission to inspire and build loving relationships just like a dog would to its owner. It has a camera in its cute little nose too.

Aibo will go on sale in January for 198,000 yen (£1,306) in Japan, with foreign sales being evaluated.

Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai said at a press conference that Aibo was being reintroduced to "connect with the family and give them joy".

It syncs with your smartphone using an app, allowing owners to play with it remotely.

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Shares in Sony soared to a nine-year high on Wednesday after it forecast record earnings that have vindicated its restructuring efforts and raised expectations of sustained momentum in profitability. It will also be web-enabled, to support more complex cloud-driven capabilities.

"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.

Sony said it aims to sell at least as many new Aibo as the original, without giving a timeframe, and that it sees AI as a key pillar of future growth, hoping to catch up with the likes of Alphabet's Google, Apple and Facebook. AI start-up focusing on technology that allows machines to learn continually and autonomously from interaction in the real world.

Note that the name of the electronic pet is a combination of the concepts "friend" and "artificial intelligence", by combining which, the developers got the name of the robot-dog - Aibo. Japanese electronics giant Sony's Aibo pet is making a return after more than a decade away. Aibo, meaning partner in Japanese (but which neatly also stands for AI bot), had new models released every year until 2005. Two months later, it started a venture capital fund called Sony Innovation Fund aiming at A.I. and robotics startups.

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