aterrier

It’s a terrier’s world, we just live in it

AIBO, the beginning

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Aibo and Nipper. Photo by pt at Flickr.

SONY unleashed a robotic dog on Tuesday. It has a metallic coat, flashing green eyes, wobbly knees and a propensity to wag its tail when you pat its head. Its name is Aibo, which means companion in Japanese. And for $2,500, it could be yours.Aibo (pronounced eye-BO) is Sony’s answer to the 20th-century quest for a relatively intelligent robot that gets around on its own. (Its name is also a quasi-acronym that stands for artificial intelligence robot.) Over the years some companies have actually tried to sell what they call robots, like the remote-controlled Omnibot sold by the Tomy toy manufacturer in the late 1980’s. But none have succeeded in producing a usable robot or capturing the consumer’s attention.

Sony is betting that Aibo will break that cycle, and a few other companies are taking the same gamble this year. Eureka has been showcasing a new robot vacuum cleaner at housewares shows. A few companies are promising to unveil robotic lawn mowers within months. And a wheeled robot called Cye is starting to generate interest among robot enthusiasts after appearing last fall in a Web-based catalog called the Mondo-tronics Robot Store.

Aibo is a different breed from the personal assistants and maid droids that most science fiction fans envision. It is designed primarily to be entertaining, and cute.

”It almost takes on a personality where you think it’s real,” said Tod Freeman, a spokesman for Sony, at a demonstration a few weeks ago.

Weighing three and a half pounds, Aibo is a little smaller than a Yorkshire terrier. It kneels on a recharging cradle when it is resting. When it is set on a flat surface, its tail perks up. Then the robo-pup raises its head, pulls itself upright, stretches and yawns widely.

New York Times.  May 13, 1999

Audrey Hepburn and her Yorkshire Terrier, Famous

 

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Written by aterrier

June 8, 2008 at 11:51 pm

Posted in yorkshire terrier

Tagged with , ,

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