Paw patrol: Sony offers robocop dog at home

The latest aibo model, which can also display "emotions", was released in January last year and sales hit 20,000 in th
The latest aibo model, which can also display "emotions", was released in January last year and sales hit 20,000 in the first six months, according to Sony

Sony's puppy-sized robot dog aibo, equipped with cameras, artificial intelligence and internet capability, can now remotely check up on family members, children or even pets, the Japanese electronics giant said Wednesday.

The 30-centimetre (one-foot) robopup with flapping ears and cutting-edge LED eyes will roam around the home at pre-designated times looking for family members.

However, the latest canine tech does not come cheap, with a single dog costing nearly $3,000 for a three-year package, including software services such as data storage.

The owner will receive progress reports via smartphone in the service offered from next month in conjunction with home security company Secom.

"You will be able to check how remote family members are doing or what children are doing when they get home," project chief Izumi Kawanishi told reporters at the Sony headquarters in Tokyo.

"We aim to make you feel a bit more secure by living with aibo and having fun," added Kawanishi.

The gadget will also be able to watch over real pets in the future thanks to image recognition and learning capabilities, he said.

The latest aibo model, which can also display "emotions", was released in January last year and sales hit 20,000 in the first six months, according to Sony.

Sony's latest canine tech does not come cheap, with a single dog costing nearly $3,000 for a three-year package
Sony's latest canine tech does not come cheap, with a single dog costing nearly $3,000 for a three-year package

In the era of the Internet of Things and facing a rapidly ageing population, Japan has mobilised rice cookers, electric pots and other household devices to keep watch on elderly people living alone.

They transmit data to families living far away on how often they have been used. If they have not been used for a while, this could be an ominous sign.


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Old dog, new tricks: Sony unleashes 'intelligent' robot pet

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Jan 23, 2019
No doubt, the technology for this will continually improve and the costs of manufacture will keep going down until one day it would be so cheap that anyone could afford it. Then it would be better than a real dog pet in vertually every way and would largely REPLACE real dog pets. I mean, think about the many advantages it has over real living dogs; It will not ever bite; it will be programmed to always be well behaved and in all circumstances; completely safe with children; you don't need to keep giving it walks; no flies; no rabies or other diseases; doesn't leave disgusting poop anywhere; if you neglect it, you want be in trouble for animal cruelty; it cannot 'suffer'; etc.

Jan 23, 2019
You realize this is the beginning of the end for privacy?
I have come to the conclusion the only way nowadays to have perfect freedom is to relinquish all privacy.
Freedom to me is being able to walk down amy street, go in to any establishment no mater how unsavory it looks and be completely safe. It also means a end to the most prevalent crime in the United States, which is the con artist. Go on any craigslist or ebay and you see them everywhere. They like most criminals hide behind anonymity and privacy laws. It would also mean a end to terrorism, home grown or otherwise.
It has been said by a chief justice that it is not the severity of the sentence that prevents crime but rather the certainty of being caught.

Jan 23, 2019
Man, they are just not the same as real dogs. There's nothing like a real live animal around the place - what with all their cuteness and other little dramas!

Jan 23, 2019
Man, they are just not the same as real dogs.

Well, if you like, can make it more like a real dog by designing it to bite and pee and poop everywhere, and perhaps occasionally act just as if it has flies or rabies. But I think it be nicer to stick to making it feel soft and squashy with nice soft artificial fur and perhaps a tail that wags?

Jan 23, 2019
Humy, you must have had a really bad dog as a kid. :-)

Mine does not bite, poop or pee everywhere.
I don't think a robot animal will be able to replace the real thing soon.

Ok, ok, aibo is probably better than a toad or a snail or something.

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