Woof, woof! Sony has opened Aibo, its robotic dog companion, to developers. This new software update for the consumer puppy opens the way for customization and feature enhancements.
And is another step in the continued evolution of Aibo, which has been wowing the world since 1999.
It was back then that Sony Electronics launched this robotic dog, with the first 3,000 units sold out in 20 minutes. The company discontinued it in 2006, announcing a second-generation reboot in 2017 that went on sale last year.
And while this new model may not have the novelty factor of its predecessor, it has come of age with more mature AI and robotics technology. Including new programmable resources, as well as a range of new capabilities like the ability to virtually feed it cookies and potty train it.
Michiko Araki Kelley, vice president, New Business and Corporate Marketing Group, Sony Electronics North America:
“As a longtime innovator and leader in the companion robot space, Sony is committed to working towards ongoing advancements and enhancements in A.I. and robotics technologies. Software updates like Version 2.50 help to improve the aibo user experience, and also continue to help lead the A.I. and robotics conversation into the future.”
Version 2.50 software update for the ERS-1000 model is now available for both US and Japanese owners of the robotic dog. And comes complete with a web-based API that provides them with access to both the Aibo Developer Program and Aibo Visual Programming.
The former is meant for more seasoned developers, while the latter is an easy-to-use visual tool for beginners that they can use to create original movements and tricks.
By encouraging programming and development through the web API, Sony aims to expand and promote collaboration with products and services from various creators, companies, and organizations. This is but the first step towards that.
Sony also has packed in other new enhancements for Aibo owners via the My Aibo app.