August 24, 2018 CT-WebDesigners

Is Sony’s Aibo Really the Dog of the Future or Just One Really Dumb Dog?

Abibo

There are many conflicting reviews of Sony’s new release of Aibo

Though Sony waaaaay missed the mark during the 1999 launch of Aibo by selling only 114 units in Japan, they seemed to have gotten it right this time around – at least in Japan, by selling close to 30,000 Aibo dogs in 2018. So now Sony is launching the pups in the U.S. market to very mixed reviews right out of the gate!

CNET:


GADGETS:

When Aibo is standing on its hind legs, tail wagging and soft OLED-lit eyes roving, it’s so dang adorable you forget it’s supposed to do stuff. But after a while the initial charm of its design wears off, and you’re stuck asking what the heck this robot dog even does.

In my experience playing with it at a launch event for Aibo in the U.S., the answer is the bot doesn’t do a whole lot. A Sony rep pointed to the dog, and encouraged met to pet it. The dog’s little eyes would close and its mouth loll open in a clear mimicry of canine pleasure. But while it was clearly responding to the touch, the mechanical doggo didn’t really seem to recognize me. Certainly

not in the magical way I’ve experienced with Anki’s Cosmo and Vector robots. The Sony rep claimed that recognition will be possible when you set up your own pooch. The event went on like this: Lots of hints of charm followed by apologies for Aibo’s inability to do anything sophisticated.

A rep begged a dog to shake, the dog continued wandering around and wagging its little plastic tail—pointedly ignoring the man’s request. “He’s a little young,” the rep chuckled.

Another dog stared at one of the two toys that will come bundled with Aibo. “Can it pick it up,” I asked. Another chuckle. Another joke about Aibo still being a puppy.

The overall experience left me more frustrated than I expected. Aibo has already been available overseas for eight months. It should be able to do more than stare up at me begging for a massage—especially when you consider that at $2,900 it costs ten times the price of it’s closest competitor, the Anki Vector.

As with Anki’s bot, Sony claims that Aibo can memorize faces, respond to voice commands, and understand emotions. Unlike the Vector, which is a palm-sized robot intended to reside on a desk, Aibo can walk around your house, and be cuddled…sort of. I would not, actually, recommend cuddling either robot, but if you cuddled the Aibo you’d feel only a little like a loveless sad sack in an upcoming episode of Black Mirror. Cuddling the Vector would lead to new lows in the “I’m pathetic” department.

Another dog stared at one of the two toys that will come bundled with Aibo. “Can it pick it up,” I asked. Another chuckle. Another joke about Aibo still being a puppy.

The overall experience left me more frustrated than I expected. Aibo has already been available overseas for eight months. It should be able to do more than stare up at me begging for a massage—especially when you consider that at $2,900 it costs ten times the price of it’s closest competitor, the Anki Vector.

As with Anki’s bot, Sony claims that Aibo can memorize faces, respond to voice commands, and understand emotions. Unlike the Vector, which is a palm-sized robot intended to reside on a desk, Aibo can walk around your house, and be cuddled…sort of. I would not, actually, recommend cuddling either robot, but if you cuddled the Aibo you’d feel only a little like a loveless sad sack in an upcoming episode of Black Mirror. Cuddling the Vector would lead to new lows in the “I’m pathetic” department.

Another dog stared at one of the two toys that will come bundled with Aibo. “Can it pick it up,” I asked. Another chuckle. Another joke about Aibo still being a puppy.

The overall experience left me more frustrated than I expected. Aibo has already been available overseas for eight months. It should be able to do more than stare up at me begging for a massage—especially when you consider that at $2,900 it costs ten times the price of it’s closest competitor, the Anki Vector.

As with Anki’s bot, Sony claims that Aibo can memorize faces, respond to voice commands, and understand emotions. Unlike the Vector, which is a palm-sized robot intended to reside on a desk, Aibo can walk around your house, and be cuddled…sort of. I would not, actually, recommend cuddling either robot, but if you cuddled the Aibo you’d feel only a little like a loveless sad sack in an upcoming episode of Black Mirror. Cuddling the Vector would lead to new lows in the “I’m pathetic” department.

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