A dog robot can be a very good pet. With Aibo the entertainment robot and Genibo the real-dog-inspired robot, you can have endless fun.
Both robots show custom personality and an incredible number of behaviors. They can play with their toys, learn new dance moves and will long for your attention.
First I'll speak of the discontinued Aibo, which still have many many raving fans and is used even for research. Then I'll present its "replacement" Genibo, though it really is a different robotic pet altogether.
Aibo was first introduced by Sony in the late 90s and discontinued around 2005. You can still find some second hand Aibo robots on eBay mainly.
Aibo was the first attempt to make an advance robotic pet to ship to homes. It has a good CPU and many sensors that allows very natural interactions. You can scold it, stroke it and let him play with its toys. For example, Aibo loves chasing its little pink ball, or play with its bone.
Aibo also has a very sophisticated AI. While in Game or Performance mode, Aibo will either play with, or dance for you respectively. But in autonoumous mode, Aibo becomes like a living dog growing through 5 stages of life: newborn, baby, child, youth and adult.
While growing, your Aibo robot will develop its own personality, being more intimate with you if you take care of it, or become solitary if you let it play always on its own.
Even researchers took advantage of Aibo technology over the years to create autonoumous robots. For example, Pr. Oudeyer created the Nao Playground experiment to study how a robot could learn progressively and create a model of the world around itself without supervision.
The Genibo may be a little confusing at first. When you turn it on, it will only wait for your instructions again and again. And the manual seems to be of little help for that.
But if you spend hours and hours understanding how it works, or just read the results of such heavy experimentation, you realize that it's a wonderful little dog robot.This forum post explains how you should use the Genibo, the whole thread is like a detailed manual.
Picture from Flickr Axel Voitier
In short, you can go in training phase and ask Genibo to produce some actions, then you give it feedback on weither this action is good or not. Stroke it and tell what a good dog it is to reinforce the behavior, or tap the head to punish it gently.
Then, we you turn back into the autonoumous mode, it will start doing the behaviors you like, and avoid the ones you don't. Some users even noticed how it starts testing new behaviors later to see your reactions, and can thus learn more about your tastes.
The Genibo robot presents the advantage of being available new, and cheaper than the original Aibo. But actually a second hand Aibo can now be found at the same price on eBay.
Whichever you choose, you can
be sure that these advanced robotic pets with their AI and personality
will entertain your house for years to come!
You may also be interested in:
My list of top robotic pets. Find out the Top 10 robotic pets. It covers all price range and abilities.
Find out about the dinosaur robot Pleo. This is a great robotic pet for a far cheaper price.
The super advanced BigDog Robot. This is not a pet, it's the most advanced robot dog developed by a research company in America.