Sony brings its AI-infused robotic dog Aibo back from the dead

Sony had to put its previous version of the dog down when its business struggledMore

Sony had to put its previous version of the dog down when its business struggledMore

Aibo, the artificial-intelligence-powered hound, wags its tail, chases pink balls and can learn new tricks like giving its owner a high five. Owners can also sync "Aibo" with a smartphone application called "My Aibo", which allows them to play with the robot dog remotely.

Aibo will launch in Japan in January for 198,000 Yen ($1740) but there's now no word on a global release. Shipments will start on January 11, 2018.

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.

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Making use of deep learning technology courtesy of a cloud connection, the new Aibo is slated to be a good deal smarter than its now ancient predecessor; the original Aibo preceded smartphones.

Sony's Aibo a robotic dog is set to make a return after a ten-year gap. The central part of the robots' eyes are made of organic electroluminescence displays that can display bright colors, so it has a range of facial expressions.

"It was a hard decision to stop the project in 2006, but we continued development in AI and robotics", Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai said at a news briefing. Aibo, meaning partner in Japanese (but which neatly also stands for AI bot), had new models released every year until 2005. The time is nigh for a comeback, says Sony boss Kaz Hirai, as a flawless storm of better battery life, internet connectivity and the chance to put the modern buzzwords "artificial" and "intelligence" on the thing's box has arrived.

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The original AIBO was released in 1999 and at least 150,000 dogs were sold before production was stopped due to the downturn of Sony's core consumer electronics business against Asian rivals due to product prices. Furthermore, Sony has invested in a U.S.

The technology is based on work done by Cogitai, a California-based startup developing AI software that learns continually from real-world interactions.

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