Sony's AIBO entertainment Robot can now be programmed to recognise its owner's face, name and voice. New software released this month by Sony also enables AIBO to find its own way to the re-charging station whenever it feels "hungry". The robot responds affectionately every time it hears its owner's voice, name, or "sees" their face via the in-built camera after completing an initial registration.The autonomous charging function enables AIBO to locate the station when it senses power is low - or when its owner instructs it to - and negotiate its body onto the cradle for recharging. Once the process is over, AIBO switches back on and walks away, creating a continuos life cycle.The latest development adds another dimension to the robot pet's interactive capabilities. "With each new software development, we are increasing the autonomous nature and individuality of AIBO, increasing the capacity the robot has to make independent decisions about its own actions and behaviors," said Victor Matsuda, ERA's vice president. The Recognition software will be released on a 16MB Memory Stick, giving AIBO a threefold boost in image storage capacity. Available in the US from November for US$99 but no word yet on an Australian release date. The new AIBO robots themselves - to be released in two new colours - Festive Red and Cool Winter White - will carry a suggested retail price of US$1,299.
About the Author
Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks.All articles by Mike Hanlon