Sony has released an updated version of its cute but expensive little AIBO robot, making it available in a pearl black or pearlescent white finish. Sony has also improved the accompanying MIND2 software, giving the AIBO the ability to record moving pictures, and be more responsive to commands. It can also play MP3 from playlists as well as Internet Radio.
The AIBO can start the day for you by waking you with music of your choice and reading out your calendar. Then at a party in the evening the AIBO can perform various neat tricks. Place an album cover in front of it and it thanks to the camera built into its snout it will identify it and start to play the music. With its built-in wireless networking it can send back images to a PC. You can send the AIBO into a crowd of friends, observe their reactions and then startle them by speaking to them in you voice, thanks to the built-in microphone.
If it gets bored the little fellow will start to play with a ball and will demonstrate its mood with the various expressions on its face.
After all that activity the AIBO will start to feel tired so it will move over to its Energy Station to recharge itself.
Nicolas Babin, Director of Sony Entertainment Robot Europe says, “The development of the AIBO MIND 2 software now included with the pearlescent white and new black AIBO model represents an important milestone in the history of domestic robots. Now AIBO is truly a functioning, responsive part of the modern family, fulfilling important organisational and visual tasks as well as providing entertainment and companionship.”
That may be overstating it a little, but it certainly makes the AIBO an even more desirable, if expensive, piece of gadget fun.