Sony Brings Back Aibo Robot Dog—Now Powered by Qualcomm

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Two Aibo robotic dogs from Sony Electronics. Photo by Chris Jennewein

Sony is bringing the Aibo robot dog back to America — this time powered by Qualcomm chips that facilitate the pet’s artificial intelligence.

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Officials at Sony Electronics, whose U.S. headquarters is in Rancho Bernado, said the robotic companion has been available in Japan since January and will go on sale here later this month.

“This is artificial intelligence meeting robotics with a personality,” said Mike Fasulo, president and CEO of Sony Electronics North America.

The new Aibo can recognize up to 100 human faces and, just like a real puppy, develop a complex personality over a three-year period. It can detect words of praise and smiles, and react to being petted or scratched on the head.

Mike Fasulo with an Aibo

The Aibo was introduced in 1999 and discontinued in 2006, but retained a devoted fan base. The new model takes advantage of the developments in cloud computing over the past decade.

Inside the dog is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, one of the San Diego-based company’s top-of-the-line chip sets for smartphones. The Aibo uses the Qualcomm technology to connect to cloud computing resources for memory and learning.

What Sony is calling the “First Litter Edition” will be sold online and retail for $2,899.

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