A robot built for fun rather than work
On June 1, 1999 Sony began marketing its AIBO entertainment robot.
Selling the robots via the Internet only, Sony sold 5,000 units worldwide, and they were so popular that the 3,000 earmarked for Japan sold out in just 20 minutes.
AIBO is not for work, it is a robot designed to be a pet.
AIBO is 27.4 centimeters long (approximately 11 inches) and weighs approximately 1.6 kilograms (3.5 pounds). It is exactly like a little puppy-it has eyes, ears, and a tail and walks on four legs. It primarily moves around on its own, although it can also be operated by remote control.
AIBO not only looks like a puppy, it also walks on four legs by itself, plays with a ball, responds to a whistle, gets mad when it is hit on the head, barks, and puts out its paw when a person sticks out a hand.
This is possible thanks to the high-speed, workstation-class computer built into its body, which has been programmed to remember over 50 different types of behavior based on studies of dog and cat behavior.
AIBO behaves in accordance with the "instincts" programmed into its software, expresses "emotions" according to the degree of satisfaction of these instincts and in response to external stimuli picked up through its camera and microphone, and "learns" through the accumulation of these experiences. It "grows up" just like an ordinary puppy.
With AIBO, Sony is opening the way to a new field of cute household robots.
Photo: AIBO (Sony Corporation)
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