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More Sony AIBOs On the Way 114

An anonymous reader wrote in to say that Sony is gonna release 10,000 more AIBOs onto the world. Orders will be taken early next month. No available in Black or Silver with some other subtle changes and huge pricetag. Someone at Sony needs to send me a demo model dammit! I have one of the originals, these things are crazy: they actually age and mature like those tamagotchi things that were so popular awhile back. Course Hemos keeps punishing mine for no reason so I think mine is mentally stunted from having an abused childhood.
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More Sony AIBOs On the Way

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  • do you think running linux on these things we could get them to do coordinated things like syncronized swimming, rockette AIBO's and such?

    I'd just be impressed if it can chase it's tail, get the paper and pee on the rug, just like a real dog....

  • Oh for pete's sake. My dog used to go absolutely nuts when you turned on the VACUUM CLEANER.

    Can you imagine what she would have done with a robot dog??

  • The last thing I need is somthing hot and metal
    humping my leg. That thing would fry in the florida sun. I can't wait tell some one in Florida leaves one in their car.

  • Heh. You think THATS bad? I betcha AIBO doesnt pull ya around town flying UP hills at a cool 20 MPH! and I betcha it doesnt try to EAT the vaccuum cleaner and the mower when its running now does it?
  • Hemos keeps punishing mine for no reason so I think mine is mentally stunted from having an abused childhood.

    For some reason, reading that sent my mind onto a semi-offtopic tangent, and it resulted in an interesting question. At what point can we consider it "abuse" to torture a machine? The Aibo, for example, can learn and adapt and is a (very very small) step towards intelligent home electronics. In 5, 10, or 20 more years we'll probably have computers and robotic pets/assistants with at least passable intelligence. If it's illegal to torture a dog, should it also be illegal to torture a piece of electronics as intelligent as a dog? Could we live to see a day when people could get prison terms for kicking their computers? Will it one day be considered murder to turn your gaming rig off? Will euthanasia be permitted for Windows machines?

    I dunno, but it seems like an interesting conversational piece, and one I've never seen seriously discussed before. What do you guys think? Will computers ever have rights? Should computers ever have rights?
  • I hope they changed the location of the battery slot. I'd hate to pay 2.5 grand for a robot dog and have to stick batteries up its ass every few days. If they wanted to be really cool, it would locate and eat batteries on its own, and poop out the dead ones. Then you'd have to train your AIBO not to go on the carpet...
  • Whats the difference between the new (ERS-111) and the old Aibo (ERS-110)?
    Did ERS-110 have the thermal sensor? A least I don't remember it being mentioned before?
    Jan Tångring (jan.tangring@et.se)
    Datateknik 3.0, 106 12 Stockholm, www.datateknik.se
    +46 8 796 6445, +46 70 399 3859, +46 8 613 3038 (fax)

  • Huh?

    Well, my time is actually fairly valuable, but a homebuilt robot is WELL worth it. I've built a few, believe it or not the price drops considerably when you use custom-fab parts instead of prebuilt stuff. 32-bit processor? $20 or less. I agree that 18 degrees of freedom is a lot, but for about $5 each you can get decent servos and steppers (surplus of course). I have a crate (literally) of old 5 1/4 drives lying around (parts and other reasons...)

    And walking robots (even bipedal in fact) are not that bad if you know how to program (although, some AI (neural net mostly) knowledge helps).

    I dunno, maybe most people find robots a LOT harder to build than I do. Anyways, that's the end of my lunchbreak ;)

  • The first time our dog (basset hound) saw the Aibo it became jealous, demanding attention fform each of us in the room. Beyond that it just looks at Aibo suspiciously.

  • Hmmm, I think it would be cool if they made a new version of AIBO that was a transformer. Better yet, a Triple-Changer!

    From Dog to Tank to R/C Airplane. That would be cool.
  • Perhaps something like this [edit.ne.jp]?
  • It seems to me Sony most certainly _is_ targeting only bleeding-edge techies with money to burn.

    Is the iMac aimed at little kids? The new Beetle?
    You're confusing cuteness with childishness, and especially in Japan, they're not at all equivalent.

  • Those AIBO's are worthless. Why would I want a
    mechanical dog with LEGS!? They need to fuse
    his legs in a permanent stance and attach some
    wheels so I can get him stuck in level sand or
    kitchen tile. They should also add a water
    dammage feature where you can just waggle his
    tale for repairs. And of course, he HAS to at
    least be able to say, "Affirmative Master!"
    Where's AIBO's nose laser anyway?

    Be Seeing You,


    Who is holding out for news from John Leeson's
    agent that he has been comissioned to do voice
    work for a large Japanese Media Conglomerate...

  • Wouldn't that be a beowoof cluster

  • The maximum battery operation time for the 180cm (6-ft.) tall, 210kg(463 lb.) robot is 15 minutes. That doesn't leave much time for fetch! And if it jumps up on you to give you a "kiss" after playing with it, you'll be worried about more than the fact that the battery is going to die!
  • If only I had some moderator points to burn.... Too bad he's an AC. Speaking as a robotics hobbiest myself (who was was on an award-winning robot team in my school years), $2500 could build a seriously mean robot. Why, you're talking, MANY embedded microcontrollers, full aluminum or titanium frame, lith-ion battery, the WORKS. Sure it wouldn't be "cute" as an AIBO, but it would LOOK cool! (and it could look like something else, too).

    Personally, what _I_ want to get, is one of those Heathkit things from years ago. The ones with the arm on them. Forget the name now, but they were SO cool. (and a HELL of a lot less expensive).

    Unless I miss my guess, this might even be enough to use "micro rocket thrusters" (forget the link now...) or similar (or a helium baloon!) and have a *FLYING* robot. Sorry, but the sci-fi-style flying black observer drones look SO much cooler.

    Oh, the things I could do with $2500...

    And of course, a homebuilt robot would run on opensource (not necessarily 100% on Linux, because of the multi-embedded-microcontrol systems in it, but developed on Linux certainly and maybe even with Linux on the main chip ;) Put a couple Crystal DSPs and an Intermetal MP3 decoder chip in it, mount a camera, and you would have yerself a robot to be proud of...

  • i guess someone has to say it...

    these specs were in the article, its kinda annoying seeing it again RIGHT after i read the article...

    so i'm not sure why it got moderated up...doesn't anybody read the article anymore?

    sorry...i stop ranting and return to waves homework... =)

  • I think Sony is totally mismarketing the things. They're really targetting little kids ("share behaviors with friends")... but seriously, even if a child could obtain an AIBO, how many of their friends would have similar luck? And besides, at $2500, I wouldn't want my 5-year-old kid taking the dog out of the house!

    Sony *should* target serious enthuisiests with $$$, and cut the cutesy crap.

    Why do the dogs communicate only via beeps? Voice-recognition technology is getting quite reasonable, and besides, how good does it need to be for a dog? My stupid furby at least used words (even if they weren't English).

  • enthuisiests

    Yeah, yeah... it's late ;)
  • Aibo?
    Half dozen?

    I guess one would call that a Beowolf cluster.
  • Nah... This one's a Beowoof cluster.

    I suppose I should prepare to see my Karma sucked away now. (Score: -1, Bad Pun)

    Ah well, it was fun while it lasted!

    Christopher Kalos
  • I remember some commmercials for it here. Maybe he traded the ad space for his own personal doggy.

  • There is one story in Hofstadter/Dennett's "The Mind's Eye", where somebody is ordered to destroy a machine that gives some deceiving simulation of pain, while still far from being intelligent. This guy is described as feeling *very* uneasy about it, although not being a techie.

    This is one example of the matter being discussed.
  • I don't know about VAIO, but according to Sony's site [sony.com], "The first two letters of the word AIBO stand for Artificial Intelligence. AIBO is also a robot with eyes, so you can think of it as an eye-bo(t). Finally, AIBO is also named after the Japanese word for "pal," because AIBO is a great companion for people." A bit contrived, but at least it's not an arbitrary number sequence. Besides, it sounds like a pet's name--perfect for the people they are marketing to.
  • Well, I'm aware that a lot of sci-fi authors have addressed the issue already, but I'm curious as to whether there's ever been any serious real-world discussion about AI rights. I acknowledge that we have the right to disable/destroy any artificial intelligence that presents a danger to us, no matter how smart it is (e.g. HAL9000), but what about a passive sentient machine? I'm personally undecided on the issue, but it's really got me thinking.

    Here's another way to look at it. Let's say we built a computer with an expandable and reprogrammable neural net, and we gave the computer the ability to redesign and optomize the NN as it saw fit (this is currently being researched, btw). Now lets say that after a few years the computer became highly intelligent, self aware, and self reasoning (sentience). It would be entirely conceivable that we could build a computer that was more intelligent than we are by using this method. If this were the case, the military would probably end up being interested in it. So suppose the military gave the computer an idea for a theoretical weapon and asked it to design it, and after a minute the computer realized that such a weapon was possible, but that building it could have a devastating effect on mankind. If the computer refused to give us the design, would we have the right to "force" the design out of it? Or would the computer, sentient and intelligent, have a right to make it's own choices?

    I know this is quite a "what if?" scenario, but if technology keeps advancing at its current pace we could be facing issues like these sooner than we think. I feel that we should be addressing these questions before we reach that point, rather than waiting until it becomes a problem. Then again, maybe this is too off-topic in a discussion about a robotic dog :)
  • i would love to see a dalmation AIBO :)

  • Was is Battlestar Galactica by any chance?

    What was the name fo that critter...Dagget? Something like that.

    Except the one is BG could defend...I want an AIBO that will attack...put a pepper spray device in the head and order it to guard the dor until it hears the owners voice to tell it to stand down. Hell my iMac has voice reconition now for logging in...why not a AIBO?
  • If this is the same piece of footage that I saw, if you had listened to the voiceover, it's British... they were talking about the coming of the things in Britain... at least thats the bit I saw, channel 10 news I believe.

    I did notice that, but the presenter (Channel 9 this was) said before they ran the piece that they would be available "here". I guess she was just misinformed.. I woulnd't be surprised, those news people usually aren't too savvy when it comes to tech stuff :)

  • they *did* say that they were preparing for a sale in Europe ;)

  • Yes...when will electronics get the same rights as electronics in the Bank's Culture novels?

    My personal feelings on the rights of animals, electronics and humans are quite simple. If the being is self-aware I don't think they should be killed. The exception to this are cows and chickens...because I like to eat them, I don't kill them...I leave that up to someonelse...except for the time I capped the cow with the .45...that damned cow was a pain in the butt...always getting out of the pasture.

    Ummm Tacos...
  • $2500 is cheap when you see what's in an Aibo. Walking robots are very hard work, especially small, light and agile ones.

    If you're interested in DIY robots, take a look at RobotWars. Major technology, homebrew construction and technical carnage. I don't know a serious team [teamdelta.com] though that hasn't needed close to a $2500 budget, even buying much as scrap and not accounting for time.

  • how about loading NT on it... abuse enough? *grin*

  • Regarding the Sony naming convention, note that Sony's founder is named Akio Morita. He died on October 3, 1999. He was highly regarded and loved by those at Sony. Naming their robot companion "Aibo" would seem to be in reverence to their corporate father. Just guessing.

    The name Sony itself is derived from a latin root for sound. They do indeed seem to create a sense of meaning in their choice of names.
  • That's an idea... when I've perfected my carbon-nanotube-generating engineered organism and become 100x as rich as W. H. Gates IV, I'll start sponsoring Open Source coders' beer tabs.
  • by Szoup ( 61508 ) on Tuesday October 26, 1999 @05:22PM (#1585323)
    They way the industry is right now, you'd think they'd offer transculent Aibo's in 5 various (but sickly) colors. I really would like to see those gears a'turnin.

  • I was impressed when I first read about them way back in the day,
    but when the first models were released and I saw the footage of
    how they move, I almost died. They're so lifelike it's creepy...

    AIBO would be great for me, AIBO = Pet - Allergic Reaction.

  • When AIBO was first announced, I believe Sony
    was saying that you could re-arrange his limbs to
    make him more like a monkey in appearance than
    a dog... Am I imagining this?

    The idea of a modular pet is somewhat alluring and repulsive at the same time...

  • I've never truly understood the appeal of AIBOs, tamagotchis(sp?) and the like. A friend of mine had one of the latter that she carried everywhere and, quite frankly, I found its incessant beeping more irritating than a cellphone going off in the middle of a conversation. At least a cellphone is (hopefully) doing something important.

    Admittedly, I've never personally used/tried/whatevered an AIBO, but from what I understand about them it just isn't clear to me why anyone would want to spend money on something like that. Then it occured to me that perhaps the appeal in these "electronic companions" was in their simulated companionship. Sure, they can be a nuisance. But then again, so can normal friends/companions!

    Perhaps that's where the appeal generated by these things is coming from, perhaps not. Just my 2 * 10^-2 dollars worth.
  • Instead of releasing a whole bunch of new Aibos at the old price, why not spend time refining the technology so that Mere Mortal can possibly afford it? To make matters worse, you gotta spend a few extra hundred on that PCMIA / data stick interface thingy if you want to program your doggie!

    Oh well, I guess I'll just have to wait 10 more years...

  • This is a classic way to make good money!
    Hmm i guess Sony does not want to go with the good old "economies of scale" approach! Guess that would just not make sense!!!!

    well at that price i can just maybe hope to see one.... much less own one! Hey maybe someone will reverse engineer the technology, change it to get away with patent problems and mass-produce! and have the code be open-source of course!

    I cant wait till we can get these kind of things with lego parts! the possibilities would be endless! childhood here i come!!!

  • by Money__ ( 87045 ) on Tuesday October 26, 1999 @05:42PM (#1585331)
    (ERS-111) "AIBO" Technical Specifications

    CPU 64-bit RISC processor

    Main Memory 16MB

    Program Memory 8MB Memory Stick(TM) (accessory)

    Moving Parts Mouth: 1 degree-of-freedom Head: 3 degrees-of-freedom Legs: 3 degrees-of-freedom(x 4) Tail: 2 degrees-of-freedom Total: 18

    Video Input 180,000 pixel color CCD camera (x 1) Head

    Audio Input Stereo microphone(one on each side) Head

    Internal Audio Output Speaker (x 1)Head

    Sensors Heat Detector Heat sensor (x 2) Torso Range Finder Infra-red range finding sensor (x 1)Head

    Acceleration Detector Spatial acceleration sensor (x 1) Torso

    Rotation Detector Angular velocity sensor (x 1) Torso

    Contact Detectors Touch sensor (x 1), switch (x4)Head, Legs

    Power Source DC7.2V (Lithium ion battery)

    Power Consumption 12.6W (autonomous mode)

    Operating Time Approx. 1.5 hours (using fully charged battery)

    Dimensions l x w x h Approx. 274 x 156 x 266mm (not including tail)

    Weight About 1.4kg (body only) About 1.6kg (Including Memory Stick media and battery)

    (ERF-511) "AIBO Performer Kit" Main Features

    Motion Editing Functions 1) Exchange of motions (3 Types) 2) Editing of motions 3) Creation of original motions

    Simulation Functions 1) Ensure compliance with angular limitations of limbs 2) Confirm non-collision of moving parts 3) Check speed of moving parts

    Others Timeline editing function, Memory Stick data check, etc.

    -------------------------------------- (ERF-511) "AIBO Performer Kit" System Requirements

    Computing Platform IBM PC/AT compatible or NEC PC98-NX Series

    CPU Pentium®200Mhz equivalent or above

    OS Windows®95 or Windows®98

    Memory 32MB or greater

    PC Card Slot Type II PC card

    Display Mode 800x600 resolution or greater

    Display Color Capability 16-bit High color or greater

    Other CD-ROM drive (for Installation)

    Available in Japanese, English, French, and German

  • I have to say, I like the silver one a lot
    better. I think the new black one is ugly.

    I hope I don't get branded a racist or something
    for saying that :)
  • I think the consumer world is waiting until you can get them in translucent colored plastics.
    --------------------------------------- -------------------
  • hmm...weren't the originals like $3,000 or something? jeez...you can get a really nice box (or used car...) for that much money...man, i wish *i* was a rich geek.
  • MMmmmm...shiny consumer electronics...damn sony and their tempting toys!
    I work for them for godsakes and couldn't get one last time (this time it looks more probable, hopefully with the employee discount too!) What does everyone think the technology will plateau (or will it scale like pc's) What about cooperative learning/teaching? Silver or Black (there some asthetically pleasing about that sony color scheme)? Why don't they do freeware programming and standard connections (serial etc) and let everyone create behaviors!?!?
  • Is still to aquire a good half dozen to a dozen aibo and program them to hunt as a pack and defend my territory. Now THAT would rule.
  • Personally, what _I_ want to get, is one of those Heathkit things from years ago. The ones with the arm on them. Forget the name
    now, but they were SO cool. (and a HELL of a lot less expensive).

    I think that would be the Hero series...There's a FAQ here [employees.org].


  • by Szoup ( 61508 )
    Sorry everyone. I'll try harder next time.
  • And what's with this Sony naming convention? AIBO? VAIO? What does it all mean?

    From the FAQ...

    Q: How did AIBO get its name?

    A:The first two letters of AIBO stand for Artificial Intelligence. Since it has
    eyes, you can also think of it as an eye-bo(t). Finally, AIBO is also named after
    the Japanese word for "pal."
  • I think it would be cool to have one of these except I'm not sure how it would act with other pets. Since it learns from it's experiences, would it interpret barking from another dog as negative or positive reinforcement. If it was taken as the later then wouldn't it tuck it's tail and run every time my minpin came in the room? Would it learn to annoy that cat and chase it up the drapes? I wish I had the cash to get a few of these and do some [cough] research :)
  • BBC has interesting article on Sony and the AI in the dogs: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/asia-pacifi c/newsid_485000/485832.stm
  • $2500 is your time is worth $0/hr maybe...
    Seriously, how many robots that size have 18 degrees of freedom? Ever built a walking robot?
    I've built simple platforms using surplus wheelchair motors, a basic unit is at least $1000 in parts alone. This does not include the 32bit processor, video system and 16 other degrees of freedom. Now maybe if your parts are mostly free..

    Anyway, I think Sony is taking a big loss on these just to establish a consumer market. Some prices on other 'hobby' robots...

    The Rug warrior kit is $600 complete, it's a little (4") 2 wheel platform with a 68HC11 CPU w/ 32K ram.
    The Lynxmotion hexapod is $375, but it only has a PIC for the CPU. Hexapods dont sit up and beg though...
    The Carebot is about $2500, but it doesn't compare. It's a big 2 wheel platform with a Sonar and RF link. It uses auto window lift motors to drive the wheels.
  • Check page 275 of your November 1999 print copy of Wired magazine (you do read Wired, don't you ? :)

    Not only does the acronym fit the function and purpose of the Vaio machines, the symbol represents the convergence of analog (VA - wavy) and digital (IO - one and zero).

  • BBC article on the recent robot show:
    ...But the star of the show was probably the robot cat - called the Mental Commit Robot.
    There has already been a very popular robot dog.
    The cat responds with a purr when it is stroked and will not scratch or bite.

    Just what I need... An electronic dog, cat, and mouse racing around my house.
  • I had one of these during this past summer:

    1. make many modules for a modular reconfigurable robot
    2. form them into a snake becasue the power supply takes both arms to carry and needs to be plugged into a wall
    3. use robot as pet snake (worn around shoulders/neck for transport)

    sure, I got some odd looks, but this was PARC -- people just wanted to play with it :)

  • How about MAME? If a camera can do it, an Aio probably can too... You know, it would be pretty amusing to see what happened to it's behavior with different ROMs loaded into it. Here are some examples: :)

    Tapper: Your Aibo runs around serving beers to your poker/football buddies. If he does not do it fast enough, they beat him senseless.

    Mr. Doo's wild Ride: Your Aibo heads to Six Flags, where it runs rampant on the roller coasters. Any beings it encounters in the course of these travels is whacked with a hammer.

    Rampage: Aibo heads for downtown Detroit to destroy buildings. After getting there, it leaves, realizing it is too late.

    Robotron: Odd sounds that disturbingly resemble "Kill the humanoid" issue from it's speakers. Aibo gains the ability to walk and aim in different directions.

    Well, you get the idea :)

  • Hmmm... It is hard to tell from the pictures. I think a brushed ebony would look really cool. If it is a glossy/reflective black, then I would probably agree. When I first saw these I though a brushed stainless steel or aluminum would look best.
  • Haven't we annexed Canada yet? What's the hold up?


  • At least we Australians have one small advantage here over the Canadians. A lot of people have such poor knowledge of geography that they commonly confuse Australia and Austria. Because AIBO is offered in Austria, I'm sure that we could sneak a few orders from Australia through. :)

  • .... until somebody figures out how to get Linux on those things.

  • Sounds like it's powerful enough to do a Linux port. :)

    Then we could program it sort of like LEGO Mindstorms. What it really needs, though, is wireless networking, so you can save what it sees and hears, or have it play arbitrary sounds. Talk about a portable MP3 player!
  • by Signal 11 ( 7608 ) on Tuesday October 26, 1999 @05:58PM (#1585363)
    I can just see it now - Microsoft gets in on this and release MS-Tami. Upon starting it up... "By using this product, you are consenting to be bound..." upon which you promptly just hit YES anyway without reading any further. After it starts up, it demands to be fed. And fed. And fed. It bloats out and weighs about 60 lbs. Then for some reason it falls asleep, asphyxiates and dies. You just accept this and reinitialize it.

    Then you have the RMSiatchi... it doesn't need to be fed. Instead it harvests the collective IQ of computer geeks everywhere and syntesizes food out of ambient light. Unfortunately it won't stop beeping at you and insisting that "I'm not open source, I'm FREE I tell you! FREEeeeeeeee!" It may also occasionally bust a beat and start singing.

    Lastly you have Robiatchi. It likes to drink beer. Lots of beer. Then it writes funny symbols across the screen. Half the time it writes them really slow, and half the time really fast. Sometimes Robiatchi becomes non-responsive for several minutes. Don't worry though - it's growing quickly and will get out of this mode. Someday.



  • I guess I'm not as nerdy as I thought since this is the first I recall seeing the AIBO. Very cool, and I don't even think $2500 is too much to ask, if what I've read about them is true.

    And on a slightly related topic, did anyone see the bipedal robot that Honda spent billions developing a few years back? It's amazing. It can navigate around any normal environment (a house or apartment) and can also climb up and down stairs.

    It was almost a little eery seeing it doing that in its approximation of human form.

    Maybe I should get a Honda robot, and get IT an AIBO? :-)

    If no you haven't see the Honda robot, here is a little blurb on it:

    http://www.poli.studenti.to.it/~s76133/robotica/hh ri.htm

    And what's with this Sony naming convention? AIBO? VAIO? What does it all mean?

  • by supz ( 77173 )
    it does have an itsy bitsy bit of something to do w/the topic... "Hemos keeps punishing mine for no reason so I think mine is mentally stunted from having an abused childhood."

    I have cheetos cheese on my mouse.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    My first AIBO ran away. Now they expect me to buy anohter one? How do I know that they don't program them to run away so they can sell them to you again?
  • Would that make them a Beowulf cluster?

    Sorry, somebody had to do it, and this seemed the appropriate place.

    Fear! My beowulf cluster of aibos will hunt you down and analyse your DNA.

  • Are you sure there won't be any in Australia?

    I saw something on the morning news like 2 days ago about the AIBO. They showed a real dog trying to play with one and then giving up. Hehe. They showed it cocking up one leg and looking like it was peeing on something, that was amusing too.. it should spray out battery acid or something instead, for realism.

    I'm sure they implied that they would be available to Australian buyers this time? (They mentioned Sony will be selling them over the Internet).

    Anyhoo.. can't afford one anyway :) Just bought a laptop which is about the same price but just a little more useful.

  • Now all I have to do is program the Omnibot 2000 to walk my AIBO and I'll be set.
  • If this is the same piece of footage that I saw, if you had listened to the voiceover, it's British... they were talking about the coming of the things in Britain... at least thats the bit I saw, channel 10 news I believe
  • They're called toys. Practical reason? To play with.

    Don't buy the hype, this isn't a low-priced residential robot, its a high-priced residential robot toy. And it doesn't even turn into a robot.

  • I find that the re-release of the AIBO is something that I am looking forward to. It is a viable alternative to a pet. It doesn't have as high of a maintenance(you may joke about it leaving oil spots, but luckily they don't), it costs less than a pet will over time(b/c of food/vet bills vs. battery recharges+initial cost) heck I would have to pay 100 a month more to get a real pet to keep in my apartment... that is 1200 for a single year. If only I could afford an AIBO... perhaps I can talk to my father, he works for Sony.
  • Of course not. That would be stupid. You're a casist, unable to see that AIBOs are all equal underneath their plastic exteriors. (perhaps translucent plastics would help)

    Also, you're worse than Hitler ;)
  • Smithers! Release the robot hounds!

    (now we need robot bees)
  • by Anonymous Coward
  • by gad_zuki! ( 70830 ) on Tuesday October 26, 1999 @11:55PM (#1585378)
    I know you're trying real hard to create a realistic dog-driod and, as a dog owner, I'd like to recommend some upgrades.

    Slobber: you have to make some slobber shoot out of the CCD camera hole. Something a little big filtheir than drinking water and make sure it gets everywhere. I recommend making it suck and shoot toilet water as it is almost as germ ridden as dog saliva.

    Loud incessant annoying barking: these things are too quiet. It makes a rabbit seem loud. Make it bark at neighbors, family, other pets, and sometimes nothing at all.

    Poop instinct: I know it won't produce poop, but you could at least make it search out the poop of other animals and then roll in it when it finds it.

    Dig: Being a robotic dog, it should bury your needed electronics. Things like keyboards, remotes, backup tapes, laptops, etc.

    Staring: Bored dogs love to stare at crap, sometimes ever your neighbors. Why not let it broadcast its CCD output to TV channel 4 so I can watch that cute blonde. "Oh hi little dog!"

    Smell: Personaly I can't believe you guys are making much effort without even trying to make it fart. Show me a dog that doesn't fart and I'll show you roadkill.

    Chew: I know it doesn't have a mouth but you could at least make a garbage disposal interface so he can drop stuff in there.

    Jealousy Instinct: It would be kinda cute to watch it try to kill your children.

    Mating: Just as cute to watch it mount the toaster.

    Anti-Mailman program: except make my AIBO shoot mace at HIM.

    If you follow my suggestions you'll have either an incredible best-seller or a few thousand terrible lawsuits.

  • No way. The telephone operator would say "You're not Austrian, you talk like you're from a penal colony. No grossly expensive robo-dog for you!"

    Did Rob say that he has one of the original batch? That boy has too much money. He needs to do something outragous, like buy a case of beer for everyone that GPLs thier code. Maybe challenge Bill Gates to an arm wrestling match to establish OS superiority.

    -ODB Jr.
  • Ooof...! C|N>K
  • Will it get little robotic fleas and ticks as well? Where do you have to take it for the 6 month checkup? Would I have to get it fixed so it doesn't try to do the nasty with my Mac or my Aptiva?

    I can think of no practical reason to get one of these things, which means that I will need one even more. But, the real question is what happens when your AIBO breaks? I just couldn't chuck something like that into the trash. I mean I've still got a working and sort of productive 8086 for Pete's sake. I'm starting to get feelings for my SyJet. Now SONY builds something that purposefully plays on my softer spots for neato machines. For shame!

    In truth though, nothing compares to an actual animal you rescued from the local shelter. Plus, there's no registration cards to return.
  • It's a little known fact that Sony has patented a version of Aibo, to be released this Christmas, that has been genetically modified to glow in the dark...
  • Just out of curiosity, I was wondering if anyone knew what type of AI routines this dog is using.

    After hearing that this thing actually learns, I'm guessing it uses some type of neural network.

    Can anyone explain exactly _what_ this dog learns, and how well it learns it? I'd love to read some technical papers discussing what makes this thing "tick".

    Maybe we could teach it to solve the TSP from constantly taking it on walks :P

The best defense against logic is ignorance.