Sony’s AI Dog, aibo, Can Now Learn New Tricks
Sony Electronics has announced an extensive software update for its autonomous robot puppy companion, aibo. The software update opens the device to developer customization and feature enhancements, reflecting Sony’s ongoing commitment to the continued evolution of aibo. Both U.S. and Japanese aibo owners now have access to new programmable resources with the update, as well as several new capabilities, such as the ability to virtually feed aibo cookies, potty train it and more.
The Version 2.50 software update for the aibo ERS1000 model introduces a new aibo Web-based application programming interface (API), which provides owners access to both the aibo Developer Program, a licensing program for more seasoned developers and aibo Visual Programming, an easy-to-use tool for beginner programmers who can use a tool to create original movements and tricks for aibo.
“Sony is committed to working towards ongoing advancements and enhancements in AI (artificial intelligence) and robotics technologies,” said Michiko Araki Kelley, vice president, New Business and Corporate Marketing Group, Sony Electronics North America, in the announcement statement. “Software updates like Version 2.50 help to improve the aibo user experience, and also continue to help lead the AI and robotics conversation into the future.”
The Web-based API can be used free of charge and allows owners to program aibo's actions. aibo's personality cannot be altered by any web API programming, so while users can program aibo to perform different actions, they cannot change the emotion, character or mood of aibo through programming.
By encouraging programming and development through the Web API, Sony says it aims to expand and promote collaboration with products and services provided by various creators, companies, organizations and educational institutions. In the future, Sony plans to enable developers who use aibo’s software API to provide cooperative applications that can be shared by aibo users.
In addition to the programmable options made available through the API, Sony has included other new enhancements for aibo owners. Now, owners can have virtual fun by feeding aibo through the My aibo App using the new mealtime feature, “aibo Food.” The aibo Food feature can be enjoyed for free using “bonus coins,” which can be exchanged for meals called “aibocrisps.” Owners can earn “bonus coins” by signing into the My aibo App at specific intervals or during special events. Should an aibo owner run out of coins and wish to virtually feed aibo more frequently, more coins can always be purchased for a fee via the My aibo app.
Additionally, the software update enables other handy training features to ensure a well-mannered puppy companion, says Sony. Users can potty train their aibo with an added Mapping feature, train aibo to “be quiet,” and they also gain a new feature enabling users to carry their aibo in an upright position.
Also, from now through Dec. 29, 2019, Sony Electronics is offering a free aibone and Paw Pads with the purchase of an aibo.