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Sony To Release New Pet Robot By Year's End 149

tewl writes: "Saw this [article on CNN] : Sony Corp. said on Thursday it will begin selling a new pet robot by the end of the year as a mechanical pal for its popular 'Aibo' robot dog. 'It will be a friend of Aibo's, but we can't say anything more about it,' a Sony spokeswoman said. Further details, including the robot's launch date, will be announced on October 12." Name the robot here! Sony won't care, but if you're right, you can tell all your friends months from now that you just knew it.
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Sony To Release New Pet Robot By Year's End

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  • That's the model of my stereo receiver. :)

    Guess it wasn't so forgettable after all.
  • ...is TIM!
  • I say it's gonna be "Neko".
  • What about Metalli:cue:cat? A MP3 player that they'll give away for free at RadioShack and Sonic, supposedly to play heavy metal MP3s, and when you decide to play any other kind of MP3s on ityou can have fun receiving Cease & Desist letters from their legal department.

    Hours of fun, I'll say!
  • Did you hear that Billy Blanks is making a new robot too? Yeah, TAibo.
  • What kind of geeks are you? I haven't read one post refering to Doctor Who's robotic dog K-9. The first dog should have been named K-9 and had a sonic screwdriver for a tale.
  • ok.....so I didn't use the 'proper' phonics (my parents didn't buy those phonics books for me...what where they called?) for it.....it worked though, I thought! Thanks for correcting it though.....!!

  • ...you might be Norio Ohaga in disguise!

    So, what does it matter to you? Here on the net, anyone can be anybody....isn't that half the fun of it? ....As long as you don't knock our products, we don't really care. In fact, this is one good way to find out what people think of various things, items, etc., wether it be related to us or not.
  • Rumor, New Sony Robot "Aibo 3.0" links to Playstation2.
    Hmm, Another ploy to buy More Sony... OK I will.
    How about a voice activated AIBO, to link to my sony entertainment system..
    Aibo play MOBY, Aibo play Caligula....
  • I smell a 21st century Barbie-like Aibo dynasty beginning. How long before we have protest groups saying real dogs are becoming constipated cuz the impossibly-neat Aibo never takes a dump?
  • The 2nd Generation of Sony Entertainment Robots is here.
    It looks kind of like a cat, with its small ears and small tale. But I think it is still a Dog.
    It recognizes it's Name and a Voice commands (50 words in all).
    It can take snapshots via voice commandand and also has a optional wireless LAN card!

    I guess I will skip on that new laptop and get a new pet.
    http://www.aibo.com/ [aibo.com]
  • If AIBO was anything to go by, these are very low quality and may stop working at any time. After I gave my AIBO a bath, it never was the same...

  • Uh...

    "Bo," in Japanese, means "stick" or "pole." So an Aibo is a "Lovepole" (sort of).


    1) That's one more thing to add to my "Reasons why Japan is the coolest place in the world (sort of)" list.

    2) I vote for "Hosubaggu" as his new friend's name ("Hosebag" (sort of)).

  • Or is this INSANE?

    Aibo, a 27-cm-tall (11 inch) dog-like robot that can go for walks, chase after a ball and wag its tail, went on sale in June 1999, priced at 250,000 yen ($2,290) in Japan and $2,500 in the United States.

    I am heavily interested in robotics, and the field of personal robotics holds great promise. But $2500 for a glorified children's toy? I wonder what the new one will cost?

    That said, to the extent that Aibo and its progeny increase public interest in personal robotics, they are a good thing. Back in the 80s, I figured that by now we'd be able to buy a useful household robot for $2500 or less. I can only hope that when the novelty value of robot pets wears off, people will still be interested in and will pursue household robotics.

  • I think it's quite obvious what the new name will be. CRAPFACE.
  • ...and then the two of them can run around in the woods, having screaming arguments over who "DREW FIRST BLOOD!!!!!!".

  • I'm just looking forward to animal that doesn't chew on my cables, knock over my ornaments, yak on the carpet, drag it's ass across the lving room floor, can be shut off when watching movies, doesn't require special attention atfre being at work all day, won't throw a tantrum and destroy the house if I go away for the weekend, and lastly...DOESN'T SHED... I say sign me up with one of these Terminator-Pets that won't wander across my keyboard while posting to Slashdot ;)

  • As serveral of the posters have the feeling this
    new toy will be the end of civilisation the name
    has to be Prodigy.

  • I wish that was my ZIP code!!!

  • actually I think saki is the correct spelling

    ...Maybe where you are from, but here in Japan, we spell it SAKE (when spelled in Roman Characters, that is)....and all you GAIJIN should start calling it by its real name; pronounced like this: SOCK-EH ....as in a 'sock' and 'eh' put together...NOT SOCK-EE.....

  • saw this ages ago, Sony Aibo liable to DoS [securityfocus.com]

    made me laugh anyway

  • but does it run on linux? Can we hack it and strap a palm on its back and make it balance our checkbook? hmmmm????

  • If you take it over to a friend's house, it'll start complaining about how it doesn't belong to him, and then it'll call the police and report you for theft.
  • [Butt-Head] Wull, think about a beawulf cluster of these. [/Butt-head]

    [Bevis] Hehe, MIPS, hehe...[/Bevis]

    I digress.

  • AIBO was sold here in Japan as, uh, well: "AIBO".....since that is the Japanese name of the thing.

  • Hopefully they've gotten to a point where they won't need to charge $2,500 for one of these things. Of course, if they've put in alot more R&D into these new ones they'll still be too expensive for most of us.

  • It's spelled "AIBO" not "Iabo".......

  • Well, it seems that the product name either be a competely forgettable alphanumeric designation (STR-1011) or, more likely, something with four letters.

    I can guess three of them -- "a", "i", and "o"

  • Quoting from last E.C. and B.B. King CD's booklet: "I want to thank [...] and most of all Melia and Aibo for their love and support ... E.C." I hope he called some pet "Aibo" (which may be a TM issue...), and he's not thanking a robot for his love!
  • Wow, thats one thing we need more of; overly cute over priced toys will be the cause of our socity's downfall.
  • Can we cluster them? Does it run X and Apache? Is there MAME out for it yet?

    Either way, it kicks the sorry ass of Microsoft's robotic dog.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    All I can say is that you'll probably be able to put a memory stick up its butt.
  • I think it is just a little obnoxious that Sony and other manufacturers are calling these creations 'pets'. To me, a pet is something a little more cudly than hard grey plastic with a circa year 9000 space-visor.

    I hope Sony decides to make their next creation soft and comfy. Something that would jump up on the couch and sit on your lap. That'd be really great for appartment dwellers (like myself) who aren't allowed to have pets in the place. The current crop seems like some kind of semi-mobile remote control.

    Even so, it's no replacement for a real pet. Just knowing it's programmed to keep you company seems shallow. Maybe if they threw in some nasty tendancies, such as, the bot-pet attacks you from time to time and makes messes...it's just part of the fun.
  • by jafac ( 1449 ) on Thursday October 05, 2000 @02:10PM (#727888) Homepage
    guest-fodder on Battlebots!

  • Have you ever been to Japan? Have you seen how "American" it can seem/be? Apart from the obvious language difference, walking along a Tokyo street (small as it may be) and passing Wendy's, Mac's, Burger King, Starbuck's, Toys'R'Us, etc....you start to wonder if you aren't back in Kansas after all.....

    We "Americans" have totally restructured this country in the past, oh, 50 years......so don't go bitchin' about how the Japanese are trying to "Japanize" you freaks (me included) !!!!!

  • "A man that hates dogs and small children can't be all bad"

    So, imagine this: You are the not-so-happy owner of an Aibo pet dog named, - well "Aibo". After the initial joy about the dog is over, you are starting to get frustrated: You need to walk the dog, feed (recharge) the dog, and the d... dog will pee on your favourite carpet. Personally you'd rather be having a beer.

    In comes "The new Sony Pet Robot(TM)": (S)he will be able to do all the chores with your pet robot dog: Walk him, feed him. And also to thow the carpet out when the dog has peed on it.

    The pet robot will even take the pet robot dog to agility training every Sunday afternoon while you are hosting a barbercue.

    Need I say more?

  • I am a cat. I like Aibo (see URL above).
  • RAMBo will be a mechanized gnu which will attach to Aibo's back, adding memory resources and allowing him to run Linux.

    Insert groan here.
  • Don't diss the dog, man. If it sells well, pretty soon we'll have robotic chicks... think about how much money you'll save by not having to wine and dine them to get some... not to mention the time you'll save by not having to cuddle. Flip a switch, do your thing, turn it off, then make yourself a sandwich =)

    Now that's technology!

  • ...Maybe where you are from, but here in Japan, we spell it SAKE (when spelled in Roman Characters, that is)....and all you GAIJIN should start calling it by its real name; pronounced like this: SOCK-EH ....as in a 'sock' and 'eh' put together...NOT SOCK-EE.....

    Err... try: sa-ke(): sa (as in SAw) ke (as in 'oKAY') The 'ki' version came from a different system of romajinzation that is forunately becoming more rare to find. -f}fCfPf

  • Rambo? but I really want a Penguin called Tux.
  • by westfalen ( 169035 ) on Thursday October 05, 2000 @02:19PM (#727897)
    This product is the epitomy of the ostentatiousness of today's society. Think about it, this AIBO can't do anything and it sells for $2500? For $2500, you can get a very much more useful computer or donate the money to a worthwhile cause. Sure, AIBO is a technological marvel but pratically, it is a piece of rubbish. Are people too lazy to get a real pet and show some responsibility?
  • No, this is not a joke ;) Sony is giving away, at cost sony legged robot research prototypes for, of all things, a international robot soccer competition to spur research into artificial intelligence and robotics.

    Have some under-utilized grad students in a computer science department? Get them to work on preparing research software, [and get some local sponsership in the neighborhood of (I'm guessing roughly) [15,000 - 25,000] dollars, and you may get to have some real fun to justify all those boring years spent in stuffy classrooms studying how to convert certain classes of NDA's into DFA's !!!

    read about it here [robocup.org]

    man sig
  • you will be dissapointed... those are all the features of the new robot :)
  • Maybe Sony could fit it with a Cue-Cat, and sell it commercially as a stock managment dog.

    "Sorry, we haven't got any of those in stock today, our stock dog is in court"
  • Finally my aibo will have something to hump besides my leg!

    And no, I don't really have one. I'm holding out for something along the lines of Hand Maid May or Canal Vorfeed. Of course, May will have firewire by then ;-)

    (The references are to Hand Maid May and Lost Universe anime series. May is a 12" tall USB equipped robotic person. Canal Vorfeed is a very powerful ships computer.)

  • Perhaps THIS is the reason there's a shortage of Playstation2s... they're using all their chips in a fucking robotic dog... But the question is: is it backwards-compatible with our current pets?
  • by crovira ( 10242 ) on Thursday October 05, 2000 @02:25PM (#727903) Homepage
    The first, "Slobbo," will drool, laze all over the couch, (see first activity and reflect on what your couch will look like in a month,)drink out of the toilet, eat your food out of your plate, drink your beer, fart, occasionally eat grass, blow chunks and then eat it, lick its balls, pop a stiffy at the person you hope might have become an S.O. (before they met "slobbo.")

    The second, "The Howling", will greet all and sundry with deafening, siren like howls before jumping all over them while growling, baring its teeth and peeing on their chest.

    Yes... There's a boys best friend is his mom and a man's best friend is his dog. Heart attack or cancer?

  • Just on the subject of the Tamigotchi, there is an amusing [I laughed aloud, which is somewhat rare, although I was admitedly very sleep deprived] parody, [nice and brief] of it, called the
    TamiGothi, the gothic tamigotchi [gothic.net] Hey, I used to wear a lot of black in high school, so it picqued my sensibilities. Wholly trivial, though... sorry to have wasted your time if you read this far. [At least it's not hollw-horned ruminannt carnality...]

    man sig
  • Well, they are not yet electronic...but I guess if you can handle the pneumatic version of Chick(tm) it surely is something for you :-)
  • No, but I did read "Do androids dream of electric sheep". One of these days we'll see real dogs huting rep's.
  • Anyone else want a robotic PENGUIN in the exact likeness of Tux? I'd buy it. Sony could make them run embedded Linux, and then we could hack them all to form a big angry mob and attack Bill Gates!

    SUWAIN: Slashdot User Without An Interesting Name

  • Not necessarily Tim, only some call him Tim.

    Troc, the pedant.

  • Maybe i'd name it after the evil competitive robotic dog that George was going to replace Astro with on the Jetsons

    If we're naming it after a robodog from a cartoon,

    I'd either name it 1-Rover-1 after the truly annoying dog from Battle of the Planets,

    or Orbit, after the Bow Wow Ruff Ruff dog from Partridge Family in Outer Space,

    or Dyno-Mutt, the Dog Wonder.
  • so your point is moot. Just look at your e-mail address: @ura-tokyo.co.jp. As far as we can tell, you might be Norio Ohaga in disguise!
  • This starts becoming just plain silly. I mean, why can't we just buy a (cheaper) real dog?

  • Just a perfect match...
  • by SMN ( 33356 ) on Thursday October 05, 2000 @02:32PM (#727913)
    I've seen some pretty wacked out trolls here on slashdot, from the ancient times through the age of the Hot Grits and the petrification of Natalie Portman, but this one takes the cake. A First Post posted as a reply. . . now I've seen everything. That's so original that I'd moderate is up, were it not for the fact that I'd be killed in metamod.

    I pity the troll who ate enough lead paint chips to actually press the submit button on that.

  • Kibo? Xibo?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    with it's own drumsticks and a buddy named Lars!
  • How many cubs you get if you clusterized a few of those buggers together ? :>

    Hey, I may get rich at last, only wish they implement the reproducing functionnality this time !...

  • ...Japanese people are WEIRD.
  • All I can say is...

    "Smithers! Release the robotic Richard Simmons!"

  • for that kind of money, I'd rather get a pet like Real Doll
  • I bet it's gonna be a cat.
  • I think to really sell great in USA they should add two cup olders.. maybe in that case it should rather be a donkey 8)
    Perhaps now that Clie is out we are going to have another Palm interfaced robot ?
  • ...the phrase 'pet robot' just hits me all wrong.I like my pets to be living, behaving things, even if I have to clean up messes, feed and tend constantly, or discourage undesirable behaviors. The complexities of the emotional relationship between pet and "owner" are probably best expressed by a poster I saw in veterinarian's waiting area: "Family members come in all species." Toy robots, yes; any self-respecting geek would concede those are very cool, but pets connotes something a little more biologically and emotionally based. I haven't known too many adults, even hard-core geeks, who've connected strongly with what are, frankly, nonliving playthings. (Apropos of nothing, we're the only species to have pets; remember Koko the ASL-signing gorilla who had a pet kitten he "named" All Ball?)
  • Lessee, could it perhaps be a *cat* pal? I can just hear the synthetic audio hijinx now:

  • Lessee, could it perhaps be a *cat* pal? I can just hear the synthetic audio hijinx now:


    (BTW, why the hell is Plain Old Text, still interpreted as html? Angle brackets should show up as angle brackets!)
  • does it have a rotating danger-saw? Can I use it to hack my opponents to death on Comedy Central?
  • The first, "Slobbo," will drool, laze all over the couch,[snip]

    Lets not forget Slobo, who will take over a small country in the balkans, terrorize its neighbors and eventually get kicked out when the humans realize that hes really just an evil robot with mice inside trying to take over the world.

  • I don't know, if it's anything like the Sony store here, it'd be pretty impressive if they had the Aibo for Xmas. They had 1 here for 2 days for a demo, and they sent it on to other stores. They had 1 glasstron in stock once, but it sold right away so they decided not to bother with another one. So now, they have some TVs, about a dozen MD players, and a couple of cameras that take memory sticks. Stuff like Aibo and Glasstron would sell too well so they stay away from it. =P
  • For all of us who think that "Aibo" has too many vowels.
  • Of course the real challenge is to market the robot cat. Iaido might be the perfect name.

    But as long as they are stuck on dogs, they should name the new dog "Faido".
  • Will it be another 'pet' that will cost $1200? It'd be neat if SONY could make them a little more affordable.... there's only so much I will spend on toys, and that much for a single chunk of cheap plastic seems to be just a little high..

  • Sony will paint it red and call it Taibo. It's cute, it's cudly, and a total body workout! Insert our proprietary memory stick up it's ace and listen to any one of these mono quality beat tracks at an annoyingly loud volume!
  • There's always widespread EMP.
  • Or just "Dog"...

    What rolls down stairs, alone or in pairs,
    Runs over the neighbor's Log?
    What's great for a snack, and fits on your back?
    It's Dog, Dog, Dog!

  • Line 20: '[Bevis] Hehe, MIPS, hehe...[/Bevis]' does not parse.

    Recommended: Replace Instances [Bevis]with [Beavis]

  • bleh, you can get a purebread, all black german shepard (beautiful dogs) for $350. Hmm, soft, cuddly, terribly friendly REAL dog, or some fucking plastic piece of shit that got its only fame from the Real World... You decide.

    - Bill
  • by jherro ( 118034 ) on Thursday October 05, 2000 @02:45PM (#727937)
    My guess is that the next generation Aibos will be made of a transforming liquid metal and will hunt down and kill the current Aibo owners. The only AIBO owners that survive will be the ones who have reprogramed thier Aibos to protect them from the evil A2s. Hasn't that been done already?
    • Aibo 2000
    • Aibo Millenium
    • Aibo II
    • Aibo Pro
    • Aibo Monster
    • Aibo Elite
    • Aibo GFX Fury 6000 Maxx Rexxx IIII
  • kuro5hin? (pronounced koo-row-five-hin).
  • How about naming the new pet robot Taibo??
  • Your PLastic Pal who's Fun to Play With.

    Brought to you by the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation.

    Share and Enjoy.
  • TIMMAY! TIMMAY! (and the lords of the underworld)
  • What's the perfect name for the robot following the Aibo?

    The Bibo, of course!
  • Just what we need, a Sony companion to the AIBO. What's this one gonna be? the RIAABO? It'll have SDMI compliant sounds and only one person will be able to pet it or else you'll be in violation of the EULA, punishable by death (it's all in the DMCA, read the fine print!)
  • Flip a switch, do your thing, turn it off, then make yourself a sandwich =)

    you've got a robotic broad and you're going to make yourself a sandwich??


  • love-puppy sounds so much better!
  • I think Sony owns a record label, so you could say they are the RIAA.


  • What's the perfect name for the robot following the Aibo?

    The Bibo, of course!

    Then of course they'll make the Cibo. Followed by the Cibo++ when they decide it needs to be able to take out the garbage and have inheritence. Of course it will be very slow at taking out the garbage and will eventually be rivaled by the Jibo, which will be touted as 'Bite' compatible with every home in the world.

    And of course, the Cibo and Cibo++ will stick around for like 20 years. And people will be afraid to switch to other electronic pets because of the long history of the Cibo/Cibo++. For example, pets like the electronic Python (c'mon guys, this is a tough metaphor...) will be able to take out the garbage better than the Cibo++ and look much cleaner.... Now I'm getting pretty far out there. ;-) But they say history repeats itself....

  • by kabir ( 35200 ) on Thursday October 05, 2000 @01:59PM (#727978)
    Ten years from now we'll be seeing headlines about the rampaging packs of robotic dogs which have finally turned on their human opressors after years of planning via freakish, Furby-esq communication.


    Has no-one seen Electric Dreams [imdb.com]? This sort of thing just ends badly!
  • The AIBO is in contention for the distinction of being the first digital pet with Bandai's Tamagotchi. Supposedly, a Bandai executive conceived of their toy drinking sake in a roadhouse bar somewhere in Osaka in 1987.

    In 1993, after a lengthy court trial, a Japanese judge declared the Sony patent invalid and named Bandai the inventor of the first digital pet. It should also be noted that it was the first digital pet to use dynamic RAM. Lots of good information on the Tamagotchi and many more links can be found here [aol.com] and also here [mwci.net].

    If one closely examines this period of history, they find that it is a time that is just chock full with all kinds of convergences between mathematics, physical science, engineering and materials technologies that make the digital pet almost inevitable. After all, this is a device that had been conceived of, at least in part, as early as the Victorian age and the birth of the industrial revolution. Really, it was just a matter of time before somebody produced a working model, and as so often happens many people took different paths to the same end.

  • Maybe they could call it some music-related name, to try and see if the RIAA will sue them. Visualize a robot pet called "Intergalactic," "Iron Man," "Mr. Roboto," or some other song reference.

    In all likelihood, it will probably be a Japanese word that means something, like Aibo was. But here's a question for you: Was Aibo sold in Japan as "Companion"? (not sure about translation)

    Tell me what makes you so afraid
    Of all those people you say you hate

  • If anybody is having trouble understanding why this post has been modded up, have a look at this post on a previous Slashdot story [slashdot.org].

    Very clever, Mr AC!

  • It will be your favorite metal band, and also serve as an mp3 player!

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"