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Toys

Skateboarding AIBO 165

psyconaut writes "Sony continues it's line of robotic pets with a new accessory: a $249 skateboard! Why on earth you'd actually want your AIBO to zoom around on a skateboard is another question. The U.S. AIBO site has it here, but the thing looks more impressive on the Japanase AIBO site. Other new AIBO products also seem to include, FINALLY, a self charging station so AIBO can feed himself."
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Skateboarding AIBO

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  • by 56ker ( 566853 ) on Sunday November 03, 2002 @08:23PM (#4591436) Homepage Journal
    a ROBOTIC skateboard! No actual physical effort involved - just sit on your backside and watch it!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Ok I know AIBO is not exactly cheap, but $249 for a skateboard?
    • Well, when I first moved to Japan about a year and a half ago, I was absolutely floored by a pair of AIBO's in a CompuTown that were actually playing with each other. I still don't quite make enough money to justify spending that much money, but for those that do have the $$(or Yen as the case may be), the things are pretty damned impressive.

      I'm going to keep my wallet pointed at the Panasonic 42in FlatPanel Plasma HDTV though. In the past year, the price has dropped from 1,200,000Y (~$9,800.00) to 690,000Y (~$5,700.00). Not only does it have the TV Tuner, but it also has a VGA/Serial input so your computer can display nifty stuff on it while you're not watching TV, like: Art, News and Stock prices, or most importantly, Quake 4 which will be out by the time I can afford it :)
  • Aibo's are expensive enough as it is, now you'd be tossing them onto a free-moving skateboard? Money to waste or someone's going to take advantage of the camera in the mall's dressing rooms
    • I think you've got it spot on: this is so your Aibo can get into changing rooms, or look up ladies' skirts, take some photos, and make a speedy getaway if it gets sussed!

      Don't look at it as extra expense, look at it as insurance against having your grand a piece technology stamped on by angry knicker-less dames!

      Sony thinks of everything.
  • by tcd004 ( 134130 ) on Sunday November 03, 2002 @08:24PM (#4591442) Homepage
    Cause, really, nothing says "I'm a counter culture rebel, fighting the establishment" like an Aibo on a skateboard.

    Visit Richard Gere's Ass Zoo [lostbrain.com]

    tcd004
  • by m.lemur ( 618095 ) on Sunday November 03, 2002 @08:25PM (#4591450)
    When's the AIBO pooper scooper coming out?
  • and still have money left? Well why not spend it all on the accessories? :o) This ad brought to you by the company behind AIBO.
  • the geek mantra (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Theodore Logan ( 139352 ) on Sunday November 03, 2002 @08:27PM (#4591461)
    Why on earth you'd actually want your AIBO to zoom around on a skateboard is another question.

    If there was ever a question to which "because you can" is the answer, this is it.
  • by MacAndrew ( 463832 ) on Sunday November 03, 2002 @08:32PM (#4591478) Homepage
    I bet these things will be showing up for kids under the Christmas tree (or insert festival of your choice). I get a catalog called "Lifestyle Fascination" which rivals Hammacher Schlemmer [hammacher.com] for gadget psychosis. Sharper Image is strictly farm league.

    The incredible thing is, this stuff really does sell. Really. Someone liked this stuff enough to post this article. And here I'd thought we'd hit the price/value nadir back in the 70's with disco and the Pet Rock [virtualpet.com].
  • Great... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Dark Lord Seth ( 584963 ) on Sunday November 03, 2002 @08:37PM (#4591499) Journal

    How long before someone...

    • Overclocks it? (Aibo at 300+km/h, woo!)
    • Puts Linux/*BSD/OSX on it? (GNU/OpenAIBO?)
    • Mounts machine guns on it?
    • Replaces the legs with caterpillar tracks?
    • Makes a Beowulf cluster of Aibos
    • Turns it into a CowboyNealBo?
  • i dont get it? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pan_God_of_Gods ( 620544 ) <mr_Underhill @ a t t b i . com> on Sunday November 03, 2002 @08:40PM (#4591511) Homepage
    It Looks to me like it pushes it self along with its legs...couldnt you get the same effrct with a piece of ply wood and some skateboard wheels?
    • couldnt you get the same effrct with a piece of ply wood and some skateboard wheels?

      Not owning one, but I'll still have to say, I highly doubt it. I would think it requires different code of SOME sort. It ONLY propells itself with it's hind legs, and it ONLY controls direction with it's front. 4 legged animals use all four legs for all of that.
      We humans control our motion AND direction with only 2 legs.

      (no offence to those that may have a physical imperment, of course.)
  • by sssmashy ( 612587 ) on Sunday November 03, 2002 @08:46PM (#4591532)
    Why on earth you'd actually want your AIBO to zoom around on a skateboard is another question.

    So it can finally chase cars, of course!

    The only problem is the reaction of irate motorists being chased by an annoying, skateboarding robot-dog. Once they overcame their initial surprise, could they resist the temptation to brake and reverse?

    • Next up... (Score:3, Funny)

      by tunabomber ( 259585 )
      Once they overcame their initial surprise, could they resist the temptation to brake and reverse?

      This temptation will only be exacerbated by the upcoming release of the electromagnetic 'poon, which the skater Aibo can use to CATCH cars.
      • This temptation will only be exacerbated by the upcoming release of the electromagnetic 'poon, which the skater Aibo can use to CATCH cars.

        I truely truely hope your interpretation of the word 'poon' differs from mine.

        aaarrggh!!! get this robotic dog off my leg!!

        • Hummer, now *there's* a nick open to interpretation.

          I'm sure he got poon from the novel "Snow Crash", where skateboarding couriers used magnetic harpoons to latch on to cars.

          But I'm pretty sure you knew that. I'm still wondering if you got your nick from liking to give hummers or get them...
  • by Metalhead01 ( 587101 ) on Sunday November 03, 2002 @08:51PM (#4591553) Homepage
    Seriously, why are the Japanese so obsessed with robots? Whenever there's a new robot toy that has no real practical purpose whatsoever, it's usually the Japanese who come up with it. Why? Do they think they can eventually build a super-robot to keep Godzilla from whopping their asses every time he comes around?
    • Do they think they can eventually build a super-robot to keep Godzilla from whopping their asses every time he comes around?

      Actually, they already have [amazon.com].
    • by mikerich ( 120257 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @09:11AM (#4593810)

      Seriously, why are the Japanese so obsessed with robots? Whenever there's a new robot toy that has no real practical purpose whatsoever, it's usually the Japanese who come up with it. Why?

      Partly its a demonstration of technical supremacy by Japanese companies. Whatever else, AIBO is an amazing technological achievement and Sony want the World to know. Here in the UK, AIBO is heading a large Sony advertising campaign for everything from WEGA, to in-car-stereo to digital cameras.

      Another part is that many Japanese cannot have pets - either because of rules in apartments, or that they simply work so long that they cannot care for animals. AIBO fulfills the need for companionship perfectly. He plays when you want to play, he goes to sleep at the touch of a button.

      Finally, it seems that the Japanese have a much more ready acceptance of robots as being colleagues, pets or friends. They are willing to welcome them into society, whereas we in the West have been traditionally far more fearful of the implications of such technologies.

      Mind you, when I've taken my AIBOs out on University outreach days, its been hard to contain the crush of people wanting to meet the robots - and not just children, adults of all ages are fascinated by them. Dogs and cats on the other hand are much less impressed.

      Best wishes,
      Mike.

    • I can't believe I missed this thread -

      Anyway, a week later, I'll contribute that one reason that Japan has worked so hard on robotics is that for much of its post-war history, it has had a labor shortage (consider the size of its economy relative to the size of its population, and that becomes clear), and it doesn't have the room to invite immigrant populations into its small space. The two paths to keeping productivity up are moving production off-shore, and automating as much as possible. While there is plenty of the first strategy, there's a general distrust of the quality of products made outside of Japan, and a preference for the second.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Does anyone actually know anyone that has an AIBO? Just curious :)
  • by cyberise ( 621539 ) on Sunday November 03, 2002 @08:54PM (#4591567)
    ....till people start making trojans for AIBO's and use them to attack people. :)
  • ffooosh! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Metallic Matty ( 579124 ) on Sunday November 03, 2002 @08:56PM (#4591569)
    WTF was that!?

    Oh, just another robotic dog on a skateboard..
  • The Software... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LamerBunny ( 613373 ) on Sunday November 03, 2002 @08:57PM (#4591575)
    Well... though these things fail to catch my attention just as much as 3d-screens do, I did some reading up on it... and... well - it seems to me there are a couple of things wrong with the whole concept (besides it being completely stupid ;).

    First of, I am simply unable to see who the buyers are... Is it just me, or do "real" geeks look down on this stuff? Then who's left? Tech-geeks? Probably kids with (too) rich parents... which leads me to the second thing I don't get: THE PRICE OF THE GODDAMN SOFTWARE!

    It seems, that you can modify your small doggish robot with some software [sonystyle.com]... but the price is $ 449.00(!!) This puts it out of reach of most kids, as they wont be able to utilize it anyway. Maybe at a tenth of the price, the kids who get the robot in the first place can convince their parents to buy the software as well...

    Hmm... anyone working on a open source program to replace the Sony stuff? ;)

    Ohh... and another thing: Sony should be ashamed of themselves for claiming that this is an example of AI! Really... the most advanced models (with the CPU clock speed of 384MHz) have only 75 responses. If it were to approach any kind of true AI, it seems to me that it would at the very least have to have a learning-routine and some storage (besides the 16 MB that can be used for stuff like storing snapshots... :| ).

    /me waves a finger at Sony (NO, not the indecent one). "Shame on you Sony!"
    • Only 75 responses? Is that really enough to disqualify it from intelligence? Sure, they claim it's an AI. Did they claim it had a *lot* of intelligence???

      Sorry, I'm in an hornery mood tonight.
  • Glue your Aibo to the roof of your car, then your Aibo can "drive" everywhere! Better than a skateboard!

    Or, if you just happen to own a surplus AH-64D you could stick your Aibo on top (careful it doesn't get chopped up by the main rotor!) - now your Aibo can fly!

    graspee

  • uhhh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nomadic ( 141991 )
    Why on earth you'd actually want your AIBO to zoom around on a skateboard is another question.

    The first question is, "why would you buy an Aibo in the first place?".
    • Re:uhhh (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      An AIBO doesn't jump up on my counter. BAD DOG! BAD! DOWN!
  • by SILIZIUMM ( 241333 ) on Sunday November 03, 2002 @09:00PM (#4591587) Homepage
    Today, a skateboard. Tomorrow, whay about a Segway ?
  • by SexyKellyOsbourne ( 606860 ) on Sunday November 03, 2002 @09:00PM (#4591592) Journal
    ...And go down to your local humane society and adopt a puppy instead.

    For the price of the skateboard, you could have everything taken care of, including shots, and for the price of an AIBO, you would have enough money to feed it for its lifetime.

    Though they probably will never be able to skateboard, a warm, loving puppy with emotions and feelings will warm your heart in ways a cheesy, overpriced piece of plastic toy cannot.
    We are losing our humanity with our silly toys, and we need to get back to real feelings of love and joy.

    Many dogs aren't euthanized -- they are instead killed for sport by sadists who run the pound. Right now, there is a mistreated, lonely, and cold dog in your town's pound that is meant for you -- go out and adopt it.
    • Hear hear! :) A real dog can NEVER be substituted by a robot. It is nice to see some support for "the real life" on slashdot :)
    • I watch Animal Planet, and I've seen dogs skatebaord and surf (the ocean waves). It just takes a LOT of determination and patience, I think. ;-)
    • And don't ever underestimate the intelligence of a real live dog. You can teach it to sit, speak, heel - pretty soon you will have your adorable canine finding the prime factors of large numbers. All this for love and a biscuit (see how smart dogs are - they know biscuits are worth more than stock options!)

      And dogs provide home security, function as an organic garbage disposal, and of course there are those thrilling moments when your dog has gas. All tender moments of affection an Aibo owner will never know.

      • earlier today I set a plate of food next to one of those lamps that turn on when you touch them, my dog snaked her tongue up to the plate to grab a piece of steak, and her tongue hit the light, turning it on... I'm considering teaching her to the turn on the light for me!


        Turn on the light, Kiva! Turn it on, go ahead! Goooooooooood
        • I'd be happy just to teach the cats to use the toilet. Sure, I don't have to take them for walks in the rain or in the winter (like you would a dog), but it sure does get old cleaning the litter box.

          Hey, what the hell am I doing on /. ??? I should be on google, looking for info!!!

    • If a post ever deserved to be modded up, this one does. Well said. Even though I suspect you're Karma whoring, your point is very valid. Real dogs are loving animals that are wonderful. Yes, they're more work than a plastic dog, and I'm sure for some people an Aibo is the only dog they CAN have, but for so many others, a real dog is the best choice. Thanks for pointing it out.
    • Though they probably will never be able to skateboard, a warm, loving puppy with emotions and feelings will warm your heart in ways a cheesy, overpriced piece of plastic toy cannot.

      What sickens me is the people who do keep pets and then treat them poorly. And I don't mean not feeding them. I mean not paying attention to them. Keeping them in cramped quarters. Giving them nothing to do while the owner spends half their time at work and the other half their time at the club or on holiday.

      A dog living in an apartment slowly goes insane. It's like shutting a human inside a broom closet. Even worse are the people who get active dogs - heelers and such - and then keep them cooped up inside small backyards. This is pure hell for a dog. They might as well tie the dog to a stake during the day and kick it when they get home.

      Most people do not know how to look after a dog. I'm fully supportive of AIBO because it reduces the number of animals who have to suffer at the hands of inconsiderate idiots who wanted a "warm loving puppy" without considering the responsibilities that comes with a pet.

      • Last week, I was driving out to get some donuts and I saw a dog running in the middle of the road towards the car. This isn't terribly unusual where I live, and I thought I recognized the dog, but it started looking less familiar as I got closer. At first, I thought it was a chihuahua (very common in these parts), but when I got close enough, I realized it was a puppy.

        I stopped the car, grabbed it, and went on for the donuts. The pup was on the verge of starving to death. It had no fat on it whatsoever, and its belly was completely distended from worms. He would have only probably lived another three or four days under those conditions.

        My wife and I took him in and got him all fixed up (food, water, shelter, shots, flea bath, dewormer, antibiotics, neutering, and lots of love and attention). He was obviously neglected, and for a few days he wasn't sure how to handle getting attention from humans.

        The original owners, whoever they may be, are not getting this dog back. It could be the drug dealers who raise vicious dogs, or just an idiot who thought the dog was fat (from the worms), so should be put on a diet (not fed at all). I don't care.

        In the former case, I hope the community pulls together to put an end to this activity. In the latter, the idiot should probably stick with an Aibo because that's about all s/he is smart enough to deal with. (And that's only if the Aibo is entirely capable of self-operation from the moment you open the box.)

      • I have a acquaintance who's one of the coolest guys I know. First, he owns a metal shop, where he cuts & welds and creates custom furniture, art, etc.

        Next, he always has 1 or 2 dogs with him. They're the sweetest, nicest dogs I've ever met. He rescues them all. He's been known to walk into the back yards of drug dealers to get them.

        Every single one is a pit bull. These "vicious dogs" have all come from extremely abusive backgrounds, yet all of them are nice and sweet.

        I guess I have no point, I just think he deserves a little recognition. And people who are abusive to animals are fuckheads who need their asses kicked.
        • Every single one is a pit bull. These "vicious dogs" have all come from extremely abusive backgrounds, yet all of them are nice and sweet.

          Pit Bulls are beautiful and very social animals which don't deserve the bad rap they've been given by the people who train and mistreat them to behave badly. Some of my favorite dogs in the neighborhood are gentle, tail-wagging, very obedient (even to me, and I'm not the owner of any of them) pit bulls.

          The same goes for dogs in general, I think. Because any number of breeds can be very large and powerful, dogs are huge targets for abusive training.

          I had a girlfriend once who was terrified of dogs because she'd come from a background in which she'd encountered a number of dogs who had been trained to be killers and fighters by people who were less-than-upstanding members of society. She'd escaped her ugly upbringing and made herself into a pretty, functional college girl, but she hated dogs as long as I was with her and couldn't even be in the same room even with my parents' Beagles when we went to visit without ending up in nervous tears.

          I'm with you. I have no real point beyond proposing that the world is really pretty unfair to dogs.
    • "...and for the price of an AIBO, you would have enough money to feed it for its lifetime."

      You've obviously never owned the hyperactive eating machine that is a Labrador Retriever....More like a crate or two of AIBOs :):P
    • by FleshWound ( 320838 ) on Sunday November 03, 2002 @10:35PM (#4591922)
      for the price of an AIBO, you would have enough money to feed it for its lifetime.
      Er...if $1500 is enough to feed a dog for its entire lifespan, then you:

      A) Plan on adopting some rare breed that will only live for about a year.

      B) Plan on practically starving the dog, ensuring that it won't last much more than 5 years or so (probably much less).

      C) Plan on buying REALLY cheap dog food (~25/can if the dog lives to be 15 years old).

      My mother-in-law has a dog, and given a 15-year lifespan, I estimate that she will have spent well over $20,000 feeding that idiotic mutt (nothing against dogs in general, just this particular one =) by the time it dies.
    • At least I know AIBO won't shit on the carpet...

      --Joey
    • In my area, the Animal Humane Society is not run by sadists who kill for sport. It is staffed mostly by volunteers who love animals, even the vets who have to euthanize the ones that don't get adopted. The vast majority of animals who aren't adopted have behavioral problems (like uncontrolled fits of violence) which would pretty much prevent them being adopted by 99.99999999999% of the folks out there.

      I don't know where you are from, but I seriously doubt that your pound is run by bloodsport dog-fighting crazies.

      I agree, however, with you that people should adopt animals.

      The real criminals here are pet stores, which keep the "puppy mills" in business. If you want a dog, get it from a breeder that lives with and loves their animals, or the pound. NEVER a pet store.
    • First there was the little bulldog from the Powell and Peralta video "Public Domain" and then much later there was Flower [boardpass.com], Matt Field's dog.

      It might look like the dog is posing, but she can push and turn and actually skate down hills.

      And since it's Slashdot I have to be picky and point out that the AIBO's skateboard has handle bars and is therefore some kind of scooter or hand-truck.

    • We are losing our humanity with our silly toys, and we need to get back to real feelings of love and joy.

      Who says you can't own an AIBO *and* a real pet?

      Give me a break!
  • Speaking of skateboards when are we gonna get hovering skateboards like in Back to the future. /me crosses fingers
    • Speaking of skateboards when are we gonna get hovering skateboards like in Back to the future. /me crosses fingers

      They're giving them to all the AIBO's first.

      I personally want those flying cars, and, oh, maybe Bill Gate's thumb for my bar tabs. :)
  • A close cousin (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rnd() ( 118781 ) on Sunday November 03, 2002 @09:11PM (#4591632) Homepage
    A close cousin of the skateboarding Aibo can be found here [etoys.com].
  • Excellent (Score:4, Funny)

    by Quaoar ( 614366 ) on Sunday November 03, 2002 @09:15PM (#4591651)
    Another way to live vicariously through my purchases...I never could skateboard, but dog gone-it, my AIBO can!
  • If you use your Sony AIBO to mimic any positions used in an official Playstation / Playstation 2 skateboarding product you may be sued.
  • Neil Stephenson's book, Snow Crash. Finally modern-day-tech can make me one of the super-doggies like they had! Wait, come to think about it, the radioactive isotope used to power it (the robo-doggie from the book) were quite nasty, something about a 5 mile zone of radiation... I'll cancel that order.
  • by Drath ( 50447 ) on Sunday November 03, 2002 @09:22PM (#4591691)
    I was at the Sony store in Chicago last arround christmas and I asked the guy there where the DAT recorders were at (this was before sony axed their dat line). He replied they don't carry such a specialty product at their store because they were too expensive to keep a stock. It was doubly funny as he was standing next to a carpet with a about 30 ABIOs running arround.
  • At first I was interested, but upon visiting the sites, that looks more like a scooter to me. Look at the handle for turning. Definitely doesn't have the balance and control issues that a skateboard would present.

    Scooters [knowped.com] predate skateboarding [sonyclassics.com] by about half a century. They're not the same thing.

  • I have two long haired chihuahua's.. the little blighters are heaps more fun than a dumb semi-bot in the vauge shape of a dog..

    and they cost me less..
  • Skateboards, eh?

    I'm just waiting for the day when all of these Aibo's get bored with filming their skateboarding, and start filming Aibos racing themselves in shopping carts and smashing themselves into a brick wall for kicks.

    "Hey dude, you broke your left navigational antenna. DUDE, IT'S BROKEN. That's so funny dude! Yip yip!"
  • Looks like there might finally be some competition for Tony Hawk.

    "... I can't believe it, AIBO has pulled a 720 reverse double dog-paddle air, a trick of his own devising ..."
  • ... and now my toys have more fun than I do.

    At least SOMEBODY has time to enjoy them.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's all starting to make sense...

  • Because if you can afford to buy a $1500 AIBO in the first place, you can probably afford to dish out $250 for it.

    (Paraphrased from TechTV's "TechLive")
  • That's not a skateboard. IT's a scooter of some type. on the website [sonystyle.com] It is called a speedboard. It looks somewhat like a snakeboard but thr is no way it oculd be used to do any tricks (at least not without a pretty major ramp). TRicks are the main reason a lot of people skate and it just doesn't seem possible with this accesory
  • >

    I couldn't find a reference to this anywhere. The AIBO Energy Station is something you flop your dog-robot onto... but it can't do it itself. I thought it would when I bought it too; just wishful thinking I guess.

    -- David
  • I've been really disappointed with Sony's Aibo. The mechanics are beautiful, but the software is dumb. It can't learn its environment, it can't keep from falling off a table, it can't balance, it can't recharge itself (even with the new charging stand) and it can catch its special ball only under optimal circumstances. Considering that all those things have been done by other robots, and that Aibo has been out for a while, this is a low level of performance for what the thing costs.
  • Yet another wonderful invention to have all our fun for us! Woohoo!
  • Seems to me like our pal can't stand on his "skateboard", either. Can he fall off? Will we see Aibo in Thrasher Magazine? [slashdot.org]
  • Since when did skateboards have handlebars?
  • by emkman ( 467368 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @12:30AM (#4592435)
    exec1: How can we justify raising the cost of this new speedboard in order to make more money?
    exec2: Well in the past, when companies wanted to make technology more expensive without adding anything useful, they packaged interchangable color face plates.
    exec1: Of course! But that wont work in this case, what can we change the color of instead?
    exec2: The handlebars?
    exec1: The handlebars!

    Includes interchangeable handlebars (orange, black, and white)

    What a "feature", as if all the AIBO stuff wasn't expensive enough already.
  • by Bob Cat - NYMPHS ( 313647 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @12:55AM (#4592556) Homepage
    is listed under accessories. [sonystyle.com]

    War-dog-walking, anyone?
  • wowzers (Score:2, Funny)

    by tetro ( 545711 )
    I thought the $250 price tag was over the line, but after noticing that it comes with interchangeable handlebars (orange, black, and white), this skateboard is well worth it.
  • The Screensavers [thescreensavers.com] were talking about this a week ago.

    The slashdot editors should be more interested in an Aibo that fetches today's paper.

    Maybe then we can get News for Nerds, while it still matters.
  • by Cruciform ( 42896 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @03:55AM (#4592999) Homepage
    AP is reporting that the legendary Tony Hawk is hanging up his skateboard, and moving on to bigger and better things.
    When asked what prompted his departure from the sport, Mr. Hawk replied "I don't know how I can compete against this. I mean sure, the thing probably can't method to save it's ass, but that kind of cuteness just sucks the life out of the sport. I figure I'll just take up base jumping or something. It'll be at least a couple more years before that job-stealing, mechanical fleatrap can open a parachute. I hope."

  • I hoped I wouldn't live to see the day when life imitates explodingdog [explodingdog.com].

    Can the monsters and the red robots be far behind?

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