The new revision of AIBO, the ERS-7 will soon be available in Europe. Sony’s recreational robot has been extremely popular, despite its high cost, since the introduction of the ERS-110 in 1999 – the series has sold a reported 45,000 units. As the various models have retail prices between £800 and £1200, this has obviously been a success for Sony, and indeed become a cultural icon.
The new features on this unit include a more expressive face display (the “Illume-Face”), and a restyled casing. More dramatically, the ERS-7 features an improved memory that enables the robot to retain and develop its personality over its lifecycle. We’re wondering if there will be a tearful moment in the house when AIBO has to go and “live on a farm” when he gets a bit older.
Sony claim the personality development routines are a significant step in artificial intelligence.
The new AIBO is also the best connected ever – using a built-in wireless LAN, he can connect to PCs and other mobile devices. His nose camera allows him to perceive his environment three times better than before, distinguishing shapes, patterns and even faces. He can send photographs of his surroundings and your au pair to your mobile phone.
We would have liked to have brought you some links on AIBO hacking, but Sony used the DCMA to bring all the sites down.
You’ll be able to see the new AIBO in the “flesh” if you’re in Paris at the weekend at the Sony Dream World exhibition.
AIBO’s home page: http://www.aibo-europe.com/