New Artificially Intelligent Companion Boasts Modular Hardware and Innovative Software Capabilities
Entertainment Robot America (ERA), a division of Sony Electronics Inc., has developed a new, highly futuristic robot that boasts modular hardware and innovative software capabilities.
Pre-sale orders for the new AIBO Entertainment Robot [model ERS-220]will be accepted beginning Nov. 7. These futuristic models will start appearing on store shelves and made available through the Internet (www.sonystyle.com or www.us.aibo.com) in late November. The [ERS-220] model will carry a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $1500. Available in silver, the new AIBO Entertainment Robot [ERS-220] fuses an ultramodern design with a host of expressive and interactive features. This new AIBO model is visually differentiated from its predecessors by its aggressive, more futuristic look.
Further, this enhanced model is representative of a commitment to the expandability of the Entertainment Robot platform through both its modular and upgraded software.
New hardware features for AIBO [ERS-220] will include an extensive array of 21 LEDs. They are located around the head, face and visor for more expressive communication. There is a retractable headlight within the robot’s head for increased emotional expression and multiple enhanced touch sensors located on the robot’s head, face and tail, providing for varying degrees of response and increased interaction between owner and robot.
AIBO [ERS-220] is also equipped with 16 degrees of freedom (head sensor x 1, neck x 3 joints, legs x 3 joints x 4), enabling smooth body movement.
“The new 220 model completes this year’s strategic expansion of the AIBO Entertainment Robot product line. Specifically, we are targeting this model for the most discerning tech-savvy robotic enthusiast,” said Victor Matsuda, ERA’s vice president. “We feel that the coupling of the strong functionality of the 200 series with the futuristic design of this new model will be an ideal match for these enthusiasts.”
Additionally, the new AIBO [ERS-220] will include several innovative software-enabled features, such as a 75-word vocabulary (up from 50 words) and advanced photo-taking (JPEG format) options including Surveillance Mode (AIBO Explorer only), a new motion detection photo-taking feature.
Further added software features include increased tonal expressions such as AIBO Step which allows owners to change the sounds AIBO makes when it walks and AIBO Boost Mode a newly added mood that shifts the robot into becoming excited, curious and alert when communication with its owners goes well.
Orders for the new AIBO Entertainment Robot [ERS- 220] will be accepted over the Internet (www.sonystyle.com or www.us.aibo.com), telephone (1-888-917-7669) and at dozens of retail outlets, including Sony Style Stores (New York and San Francisco), the Sony Gallery (Chicago), Good Guys! Stores (select), Hammacher Schlemmer and Discovery Channel Stores (select) and select independent retailers nation-wide.
AIBO Explorer AIBO-ware Software
AIBO Explorer AIBO-ware, a Memory Stick™•• software package sold separately, brings to life a mature robot allowing users to experience the full range of adult AIBO behaviors. AIBO acts as an autonomous fully mature robot that makes independent decisions about its own actions and behaviors right out of the box. AIBO owners are able to develop their robot’s personality with progressive interaction without having to raise an AIBO to maturity.
Also, exclusive to AIBO Explorer is Surveillance Mode (must be used in conjunction with Energy Station). With Surveillance Mode, you can leave AIBO to guard a room and if the robot senses movement it will snap a photo for you to look at later (photos are saved as JPEGs and saved directly to a dedicated AIBO-ware Memory Stick).
With AIBO Life 2 software, another Memory Stick software package sold separately, AIBO owners have the opportunity to raise their robot from infant to adult, learning new behaviors based on the level of interaction with humans and its environment. Equipped with enhanced interactivity, AIBO Life 2 allows you to train your AIBO through its touch sensors.
Additional features include AIBO Choreography, a new mode that allows AIBO owners to teach AIBO original actions and have the robot play them back with voice commands and Training Mode, a new mode that allows AIBO owners to assign names to preprogrammed AIBO motions.
New for AIBO Entertainment Robots [both the ERS-210 and the 220 model]is AIBO Navigator 2, an upgraded version of the AIBO Navigator, a PC-based software package that allows owners to control and navigate AIBO from distances of up to 300 feet via a wireless LAN capability from PC to AIBO.
Sporting a new graphic user interface this version of Navigator not only enables users to view in streaming video what AIBO sees but also boasts several new features including the ability to initiate actions created by AIBO Master Studio 1.1 (AMS 1.1), to send audio messages from a PC to AIBO, to hear what AIBO hears via a PC, to control AIBO’s [ERS-220] retractable spotlight.
AIBO Entertainment Robot [ERS-220], AC Adapter, Lithium Ion Battery Pack, Pink Ball, Release Pin and Manual.
AIBO Entertainment Robot [ERS-220] Series Accessories (sold separately):
Available AIBO-ware Memory Stick Software Accessories:
* AIBO Explorer [ERF-220AW02E]:Mature autonomous robot software
* AIBO Life 2 [ERF-220AW01E]: Raising and autonomous robot software
* AIBO Master Studio Version 1.1 [ERF-PC03]: Robot programming software (available early 2002)
* AIBO Programming Memory Stick [ERA-MS008]
AIBO Hardware Accessories:
* AIBO Transformation Kit [ERS-220E1] (modular hardware kit available late December)
* AIBO Wireless LAN Card [ERA-201D1]
* Energy Station [ERA-210P1]
* Portable Charger [ERA-301P4]
* Special Lithium Ion Battery [ERA-201B1]
* Carrying Bag [ERA-210C1]
* Pre-Sale Reservations: Begins Nov. 7
* Purchase AIBO/ Delivery: Begins late November
* Suggested Retail Price: $1500
How to Purchase an AIBO Entertainment Robot [ERS-220]:
* Internet: www.aibo.com
* AIBO Adoption Hot Line: Toll free 1-888-917-7669 (seven days a week, 24 hours a day)
* Retailers: Sony Style (San Francisco, New York), Sony Gallery (Chicago), and Good Guys! (select), Hammacher Schemler (select), Discovery Channel and independent retailers nation-wide
•• Please note all references to Memory Stick refer specifically to the AIBO-ware Memory Sticks