The first Aibo was sold from 1999 to 2006; production was then discontinued as part of the corporation’s restructuring. The new version is now coming out around eight and a half years later, after Sony invested in Cogitai , an American start-up founded in 2015. Cogitai has specialized in research into AI systems that are in a position to constantly learn and to apply existing knowledge in doing so.
The new Aibo generation should be able to recognize people’s reactions through facial and speech recognition and interpret them more and more precisely through machine learning. This development could also be relevant to learning cobots. At the same time, the robotic dog is fitted with sensors with which it registers, for example, a stroke of the head or back. Over time he should also adapt better and better to his master or mistress and develop a sort of personality.
If the owner agrees, the collected experiences of the dog are transferred to a cloud server which accumulates data from multiple Aibos and also provides them with the results of the virtual pack, in order to constantly perfect the behavior of the individual robotic dogs. As things stand, Aibo will be launched exclusively on the Japanese market and will cost the equivalent of around EUR 1,500 there. There will also be additional subscription fees for the use of the artificial intelligence.