November 8, 2001
Sony launches a new - futuristic - Aibo
Sony has revealed a brand new version of the Aibo robot dog. Named ERS-220, the robot is quite different from previous models in term of look. More than ever targeted to hi-tech gadget enthusiasts, the ERS-220 has more LEDs (21, around the head), allowing to express more sophisticated emotions. Other features are not very different from older versions, but the artifical dog has a richer vocabulary (from 50 to 75 words) and its embedded camera takes JPEG pictures.
As Sony insists on the originality of design, the company also stresses the hardware modularity of the machine. Further developments could allow users to change parts of the robots, which would become customizable.
Although, Sony intends to keep a strong hand over the evolution of the products. A personal website allowing to add new software ability to Aibo, making it dancing, was shut down last week upon request of Sony. Is "Aibo hacking" next year big trend? Let's bet it.
The ERS-220 will be sold in the US and in Japan at $1,500.
Photo © Sony

Related websites
  • Aibo official site

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