Sony to release AI-infused robotic pups in the US

The latest Sony robot dog “Aibo,” seen in Tokyo in January, is coming to the United States later this year with artificial intelligence and internet connectivity. (Twitter pic)

Sony on Thursday announced that its Aibo robotic dogs infused with artificial intelligence will be unleashed on the US market by the year-end holiday season, with a price tag of $2,899.

The sixth-generation mechanical pup combines robotics with image sensors and artificial intelligence, enabling it to learn behaviours and recognize faces, according to the Japanese consumer electronics giant.

Aibo robot personalities develop based on interactions with people, giving each a unique character depending on its human companions, Sony said.

“This is truly a one-of-a-kind product designed to connect with its owners on an emotional level,” Sony Electronics North America president Mike Fasulo said in a release.

Similar to real-life dogs, Aibo can learn tricks and will seek out owners, reacting to words of praise or scratches on the head, according to Sony. Aibo will also play with toys, which Sony will sell you.

Unlike real-life dogs, Aibo has an application owners can use to adjust system settings or add new tricks, and can connect to the internet cloud to store memories.

Aibo owners will also be able to check on internet-linked canine companions while away from home, glimpsing life through their robotic eyes, according to Sony.

Sony will begin taking US orders for “First Litter Edition” Aibo next month, with deliveries promised by the holiday season.

Aibo became available in Japan early this year, more than a decade after it culled earlier models from its product line.