TechCrunch journalist Veanne Cao wanted to see if Aibo, Sony’s R40,000 artificial intelligent robot dog, could fit in with a pack of real dogs.
Initially Cao put Aibo with Henri, her Maltese Shih Tzu, and a friend’s dog, to see who would come out best when performing tricks like high-five, bark and play dead.
But, because Aibo takes longer than the 2 days she had access to him to learn tricks, she decided to give him free rein to explore her apartment and record the results.
While the new generation of smart-dogs is far more interactive, as Cao found out, Aibo didn’t quite fit into the pack.
“The real dogs were curious at first, and would sniff Aibo (his butt rather), but shortly afterwards would ignore him, despite his numerous attempts to engage with them. If this were elementary school, Aibo would be the smelly new kid no one wanted to play with.”
Turns out Aibo has a personality of his own. In Cao’s case he was very needy. Unlike a real dog though, she could tell him to go to his charging station or turn him off.
South Africans will have to wait a while yet to have their own pack of robot-dogs. Aibo’s only just been relaunched for the US market, after it was discontinued in 2006, having been around since 1999.
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