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SONY'S NEW LION ROBOT:
Second Generation AIBO Boasts New Functions
December 25, 2000
AIBOwners Await New Pet
One particularly noticeable evolution from the first AIBO to the second is in its pet-like qualities. The first version was modeled after a dog and was able to act like a pet thanks to 18 small monitors installed in its plastic body, but its attraction always lay in somewhat basic behavior, such as becoming grumpy if smacked. The second version, meanwhile, is made in the image of a lion cub, features enriched patterns of autonomous behavior and emotional expression, and can understand and respond to about 50 words.
The robot responds to the name given to it by its owner, of course, and performs appropriate actions in response to such orders as "sit," "beg," and "forward." It remembers words spoken to it and can also say those same words back in the same tone in an electronically synthesized voice. Furthermore, if told to "take a photo" it uses a color camera in its eyes to take a picture of the scene in its line of sight. These photos are stored on a semi-conductor memory and can be viewed on a computer using special software.
Software Enhances New AIBO
What will concern many people is the price of the pet robot. At 150,000 yen (1,500 dollars in the United States), the main body of the new AIBO is considerably cheaper than the first version, which cost 250,000 yen (2,500 dollars). Each piece of software to make AIBO perform different roles sells for about 9,000 yen (90 dollars).
*AIBO is a trademark of Sony Corporation.
Copyright (c) 2000 Japan Information Network. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.