Sony's Robot Dog Aibo Will March Its Paws to American Homes in September for $2,900 a Pup

Illustration for article titled Sonys Robot Dog Aibo Will March Its Paws to American Homes in September for $2,900 a Pup
Photo: Alex Cranz (Gizmodo)

If you want a high quality robot dog in the U.S. you’ll need to spend $2,900. That’s expensive, but I suppose Sony’s new Aibo will probably live a lot longer than most pure bred dogs.

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At a small event in Sony’s New York headquarters, company COO and president Mike Fasulo announced Aibo’s arrival in the US. The revamped robo dog was announced back at CES in January, and until today we didn’t have many details on how it would appear in the US or how much it would cost.

It’s not the first robo-pet announced in the U.S. this month. Anki announced Vector, a tiny Pixar-like robot designed to live on your desk or kitchen counter. Aibo is designed to go where dogs go—so floors and couches. Like Vector Aibo can recognize faces and some emotional expressions. It should, theoretically, know when you are sad or happy and act accordingly.

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It’s loaded with cameras, touch sensors, microphones, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor to crunch the numbers necessary to approximate the behavior of a real pooch. It will understand voice commands, know locations (like the kitchen or the bathroom,) and avoid obstacles.

If you’re hankering for a pricy pooch Aibo will be available to U.S. families in September. The limited edition $2,900 bundle will include the dog, an assortment of toys, and 3 years of the Aibo cloud app—which will be necessary to enjoy its cooler intelligence features.

The part of me that likes money hates this. The part of me that wants a potentially immortal dog is...a little tempted?

Senior Consumer Tech Editor. Trained her dog to do fist bumps. Once wrote for Lifetime. Tips encouraged via Secure Drop, Proton Mail, or DM for Signal.

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DISCUSSION

Can it jump up on the couch and lick me? Follow me upstairs? Detect and scare the hell out of an intruder? Otherwise, no deal.

Also, these things fail, a lot.  They are complex mechanical devices that are expensive to repair.  I worked in a lab with a pack of these things for research.