For the first time ever, with the new software “Aibo Recognition”, Sony’s amazing (but expensive) robot dog can now recognise your face and voice! As well as this, it can now locate it’s energy station by itself when it feels its battery is running low. Sony say this is the highlight of their new software, i.e. it will know on its own when its battery needs to be charged and will locate its Energy Station and walk over to it to recharge itself. This action can be triggered by a voice command as well. When Aibo is charged and ready for action, it will walk off the Energy Station by itself, and resume its autonomous nature.
To me, however, voice and face recognition seems a far greater step forward. (See the piece below entitled “Aibo Might be Good Medicine for People“.) As it’s name implies, “Aibo Recognition” (installed in Aibo via a Sony “Memory Stick”) brings owner recognition to Sony’s dog, so after teaching it your face and voice, it’s capable of distinguishing you from other people. For example, if you are interacting with Aibo within a group of people, Aibo will know that you have told it to sit down, versus the same command given by someone else. Furthermore, if the owner calls out Aibo’s name, it will look up at them affectionately and be delighted! I’ll have to try and get the new software for June and her Maxwell. Keep going Sony, you’re fascinating us all. Whatever next?