Sony released a new version of it’s popular robo-dog, the AIBO, last week. The ERS-7M3, which seems to only currently be available for order in Japan, retails at about $2300 USD. The important distinction between this model and the previous ERS-7M2 model is in the “M3” portion of it’s designation, referring to the fact it utilizes the Mind 3 version of it’s central AI software. The ERS-7M3 appears physically similar to it’s predecessors, but the Mind 3 software adds some behaviors more like it’s real-world counterparts including scratching it’s ears with it’s hind leg and yawning as well as some things no earthly dog will ever be able to do including conversing with it’s owner using hundreds of phrases that develop as it matures, diary writing and taking dictation.
While the AIBO is certainly a relatively expensive device, the cost has become increasingly more attractive over the last few years as it continues to mature as a product. It has been very popular with hackers since it was introduced, and with the new advances in it’s AI, I believe it is probably time for me to start socking some money away for one.
More information is available at the Sony AIBO home page. The European and US AIBO sites have not been fully updated concerning the new model as of right now, but the Japanese AIBO site has.