The Sony robot dog Aibo will be released in the United States in September for $2,899 each, a steep price that was expected for the mechanical puppy since it launched in Japan last year with a $1,800 price tag.
The rebooted Aibo, which features a more rounded look and deep learning capabilities, will start deliveries right before the holiday season, making it a possible high-end gift. Is the robot dog worth it at $2,899 though?
Sony Aibo Robot Dog: Worth It At $2,899?
The Aibo was introduced to the United States in a small press event that was held in Sony's headquarters in New York. The Aibo robot price tag of $2,899 will include the mechanical dog, some accessories, and a three-year subscription to Sony's AI Cloud, which is where Aibo's memories will be stored.
Aibo's memories are important because it will allow the robot dog to eventually recognize its family and develop a personality. According to Sony, no two Aibo robots will turn out to be the same, as each one will be adapting to the lifestyle of its owners.
The robot dog is packed with cameras, sensors, microphones, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, all working together to try to mimic the behavior of a real canine. It will be capable of understanding voice commands, remembering locations, and avoiding obstacles.
The accessories that Aibo will come with are a toy named the Aibone, paw pads, a pink ball, and a charging station. A mobile app will also allow owners to track their robot dog's growth, look at pictures that it will take, and teach it new tricks.
The Aibo, however, will probably not yet be accepted by the public as a mainstream device, primarily due to that price tag. However, it functions as a sign post on the state of consumer robotics, how far the technology has come, and its limitations.
The Rise Of Robot Animals
Sony's Aibo is not the first robot to be patterned after an animal, with the Cheetah robot of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology one prime example. Aibo is also far from being the first robotic dog, with Boston Dynamics planning to sell a smaller version of its Big Dog quadruped robot, the SpotMini, next year.
However, Aibo is pretty much the only robotic animal that looks fit for a household. The question now is whether or not families are willing to shell out $2,899 to add one to their homes, considering that the Aibo will never trash your living room.