Sony puts the robot dog "aibo" clear boundaries

Sony’s small, four-legged robot aibo is a cute, high-tech pet that can express a remarkable range of emotions. At public demonstrations, such as the robocup, the droll movements reminiscent of clumsy puppies always cause hilarity. However, the possibilities of this expensive toy to conquer the mass market have been too limited so far.

To mark the robot dog’s second birthday, sony is therefore now offering not only a new model, but also new software designed to significantly expand its range of uses. With the help of "aibo messenger" the robot can, for example, draw attention to new e-mails and also read them aloud – whereby the engineers have placed great emphasis on the appropriate facial expressions: at the word "hello" for example aibo bows. Also the contents of websites should be able to be displayed in this way.

The program "aibo navigator" allows to remotely control the robot dog via a wireless lan connection through the computer and to receive images from its camera. A small loudspeaker also allows spoken messages to be transmitted. So instead of going yourself, in the future you can send aibo to the next room to ask a question or let them know that dinner is ready. Not exactly the most effective form of communication, but definitely original.

Sony hopes that these new offers will help to benefit from the new aibo model, which will be available in germany for 3.399 marks is offered, the planned 90.000 pieces for sale. Incidentally, an internal ethics committee is said to have exerted its influence on the design: the maximum tilt angle of the aibo head, which is actually 45 degrees, was limited to 20 degrees when using the navigator software. Officially, this is to prevent the aibo for "immoral purposes" is used. But maybe it’s just to challenge the ambition of young hackers who want to bypass the software lock to look up girls’ skirts with the help of the aibo? It would not be the most clumsy motivation of young hackers.

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