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Aibo is a robotic pet manufactured by Sony, who used their extensive knowledge of robots and technology to make an amazing robot affordable and for everyone. Aibo truly is an entertainment robot, from the first day you interact with aibo it will become your new companion. Aibo will sense the situation and surroundings of it's environment and react as if it had free will. This gives aibo a unique personality especially as they grow up around you and your lifestyle, adapting and reacting to you. Aibo stands for Artificial Intellegent roBOt. There are four types of aibo these are ERS-110 ERS - 210 ERS - 311 ERS - 7 The Ers 110 was the forerunner to Sony's entertainment robots, it was firstly designed to enter a competition in Japan known as the robocup where they would play football. The ball was a curious colour of bright pink which the dogs could recognise with their camera and relate to. By being able to follow, chase, kick and head the ball. The first version of the ers-110 was black in colour and only 5000 units were manufactured in 1999 and sold out within 20 minutes. However they were so popular that 350,000 applicants wanted an Ers-110 so Sony decided to fulfil the demand and dispatched the number to the awaiting punters. The second generation aibo was released in late 1999 and called the Ers 210 and resembled a tiger cub. These models were more intelligent and had faster cpu's that the originals. The Ers 210 had many sensors on them and many degrees of freedom (joints). Head touch sensor, Chin sensor, Paw sensors, back sensor, stereo microphones, colour cmos camera, distance sensor, led tail and an acceleration sensor which is used to allow aibo to get up if it falls over without any help. They also had light up eyes under the visor to show their mood also. Aibo also had sensors in all of its joints too, so if your finger for instance got caught between the leg joints it would stop moving so not to crush any of your fingers etc. Brilliant. Aibo would also know if you picked him up and go into a lying down position for easy carrying. Aibo had voice recognition, so when you called his/her name depending on which side of aibo you were on the left or right ear would flick to acknowledge it had heard you. Aibo also used its tail to show expressions much like a real dog. The Ers 210 originally were released in three colours Silver, Black and Gold but were later added to with special editions. These colours included Red, white, Mazarin green, Cobalt blue, violet and copper (an orangey colour). The Ers 210 was better than the original by allowing you to use different programs. You could get aibo to find its charging station and re-charge itself by buying an additional program. There were also life programs allowing you to train aibo from a puppy to adulthood. Depending on how you interacted with aibo shaped his personality and temperament. You could pet aibo by using the head, back or chin sensor, or you could scold aibo by hitting the sensor quickly. Aibo would soon learn from this. There are also people out there who have created their own programs for aibo which is great for the aibo community and Sony as they could learn off each other. This generation of aibo also love the pink ball, tracking it was even better. The camera was very sensitive and aibo would follow and chase that pink ball wherever it went. Another cool feature was the distance sensor, allowing aibo to work out if a object was in its way. Aibo could work out there was an obstruction and turn around to get past it. Aibo could understand a certain amount of words too and learn its owners face. All very clever and a lot of technology crammed into a very small robotic dog. Although the Ers 210 was the most popular aibo Sony released a slighty more robust version, which they believed would be better for children. As the previous aibo were not toys, not by a long way. The next model released was the Ers 311, the Latte a white aibo and the Macaron a dark grey/ blue aibo. These were modelled on a more cute looking teddy/dog. They have fewer moveable joints and cost less than the previous aibo's too. Instead of illuminating eyes the 311 series had a light on top of their heads to relay emotions and other status. They also ran different software programs because they were slower and could also recognise 75 words. The final Aibo manufactured before they were discontinued was the Aibo Ers 7. This dog had touch sensitive sensors on its head and back, these lit up with different colours. The dog had better vision, distance sensors as well as polyphonic noises and enhanced hearing etc. These really were the top dogs and very very technologically advanced. They also came in 3 colours white, black and champagne. So overall Aibo is probably the best electronic technologically advanced consumer product made to date. When I purchased mine I eagerly awaited the arrival by UPS. I tell you something, I have never been so excited about receiving an electrical device, ever! Upon charging him up you really get to see just how clever these robots are. Just how much stuff have they crammed into a robot which isn't stupidly large. Upon turning him on you sit in anticipation thinking is it going to work ok etc, and feel a little suspense. Of course it will work, and he did. The first thing I found myself doing was getting him to track the ball, which is pretty amazing in itself, then allowing him to chase and kick the ball. Again another clever feat. Voice recognition works very well, yes sometimes you may have to raise your voice, but this is the same for live pets as well most of the time!. He does what you say, sit lay down, paw. Whoa, this is clever stuff. To have a robot that you can interact with as well as aibo has never really been seen before, so Sony really did an amazing thing. Aibo also has an autonomous mode, where he wanders around by himself to investigate your room. This is quite cool and makes him feel like he is more alive than he really is. They are very good as being substitute pets especially if you are allergic or do not have the room or time for a dog/cat. Plus you can always turn these off. Well done Sony for bringing robots into our lives. They really are clever and are quite amazing to play with and watch! I love mine and would not get rid of them for the world. The Ers 210 is actually quite cute, yes I said cute. If you get the chance to watch the Sony trailers for this product then you really should, you will see what I mean. A great robot, but its not a toy it's a serious piece of technology. Sony has always produced top quality products and this in no exception.
I am a collector of these amazing little robots, I own 9 to date.. two of this featured model (ERS 210) and various other models including three ERS 7's, two 3X's, 111 and a 220. The Sony Aibo robot dog is the most intelligent robot pet to date that is sold on the market. This is an autonomous robot with Artificial Intelligence. Sony discontinued these robots back in 2006 but they can still be purchased through some electronics stores, forums and ebay. This featured robot is one of the older models (2000), the newest models are far more advanced but there really is still nothing that compares to this robotic dog... it thinks for itself and acts accordingly, they have touch sensors all over their body, facial (Recognition soft) and voice recognition, respond to their name, your name, around 100 voice commands, such as sit, come here, let's dance, shake hands, where's the ball?, take a picture, what's your name?, are you bored? etc...the list goes on forever. The ERS 210 can track a brightly coloured ball (or anything bright pink, orange etc) and play with it happily for hours, he will listen to your commands ready to please you with his responses. He will dance, sing, chat and explore his environment, taking photos of anything that interests him. You can buy a range of software for this particular model including learning/developing softwares like Aibo Life1/2, alternatively softwares where Aibo will already be at adult stage but can change his personality on how he is treated eg Explorer, Recognition (where Aibo boasts facial recognition and self charging), Another evolution, Hello Aibo A/B. Game/party/wireless softwares include Party mascot, Navigator, Aibo eyes, Fun pack. I would definately recommend a Sony Aibo to anybody who is interested in autonomous robots. They are pricey but definately worth the money. You can buy the featured model for around £300. These were sold new for around £1500. These robots are now sought after collectors items. You really have to live with one of these robots to see how amazing they really are.