Sony’s just rolled out the first major software update for its robotic entertainment dog, Aibo. As of Monday, users in the US and Japan can access a new feature called Aibo Patrol. That, and they can take part in a global challenge set to take place in the coming weeks.
Aibo’s newest capabilities will lean on its ability to recognize faces. Namely, it’s now got a “Persons of Interest” registry, accessible through the My Aibo app, which lets users input up to 10 names and faces for Aibo to look out for.
Additionally, Aibo can use the camera on its back to figure out its position in your house and create detailed maps of your home. The more time it spends exploring an area, the more detailed the map gets — noting things like furniture, doors, walls and any other potential obstacles.
With a map in hand, Aibo can patrol certain areas of your house or go on designated patrol routes preset by the user. And while the idea of a robot dog on the lookout can sound a little intimidating, Aibo’s policing style is all bark and no bite. Once it finds who it’s looking for, Aibo will “salute,” showing off a brand new move. Users will also have access to Aibo’s reports of daily findings and interactions.
Sony also promises improvements to Aibo’s head movements, its posture and its photo taking capabilities, all of which will potentially come into play in the upcoming Aibo Snoot Challenge. There’s no set date for the challenge but Sony is asking for owners’ participation to help the company collect data needed to teach Aibo a new trick.
Although Sony didn’t share more details on this particular challenge and ones to follow, we can expect Aibo to perform its own version of the snoot challenge that took over the internet last summer when dog owners from all over made their hands into a circle and had their pets stick their snoot (internet-speak for snout) through the hole.
My week living with Aibo, Sony’s robot dog