Nearly 20 years after the original was first introduced, Sony has resurrected the Aibo brand and developed a brand new robotic dog.
This latest version of Aibo certainly looks more like a dog than its predecessors, with a more rounded appearance compared the blocky nature of the dogs of old.
Aibo can move its eyes, ears and tail to express different emotions and can also make a variety of sounds. The eyes are actually two OLED displays, used to convey lifelike expressions and new 1- and 2-axis actuators mean Aibo can move along a total of 22 axes for a broad range of movements.
The new Aibo will act and behave more like a real dog than ever before, so rather than just sitting and waiting to be called by its owners, it will put its curiosity hat on and go searching around the home.
It's capable of learning and recognising words of praise, smiles, head and back scratches and petting, so it knows what actions makes its owner happy. We'd wager that Aibo is able to learn commands a lot quicker than real dog.
Aibo, like any new puppy, will be a bit timid at first and unsure of its surroundings, but as it becomes more accustomed to the home it lives in, will gain more confidence to go searching new areas.
Sony will release a "My Aibo" app in January 2018 that will not only let owners adjust various settings, but to view photos taken from Aibo's camera built into its nose, play with a virtual Aibo within the app, or add new tricks to Aibo's repertoire.
Aibo will launch in Japan in January for 198,000 Yen ($1740) but there's currently no word on a global release. Aibo requires an additional subscription plan to work, which is available for 90,000 Yen ($790) one-time fee for a three year plan, or 2980 Yen ($26) a month for 36 months. A support care plan is also available for an additional fee to cover any repairs.