The new Aibo is impressive. Ultimately, however, it’s an extremely expensive toy that does very little. One of the upsides of opting for a robot dog over the real thing is the ability to buck the whole “old dog, new tricks” adage by way of software updates. As long as the company continues to support such things, that is.
Announced earlier this year, Aibo’s first major software update just dropped, bringing with it the ability to double as a (albeit nonthreatening) security dog. The upgrade uses Aibo’s cameras to build maps of a user’s home à la the Roomba, to which they can then assign room names.
From there, Aibo will “patrol” the designated areas at set times of day, playing a “Puppy Patrol” melody when it’s time to jump into action. From the sound of it, Aibo’s not going to be replacing smart home security features any time soon; instead, its main function is identifying up to 10 people and reporting back their positions via the app.
The 2.0 software brings a couple of other upgraded features to Aibo, including improved head movement and posture, better photos and the ability to “feel” when its tail is touched. Welcome changes, surely, but that $3,000 price tag is still a tough pill to swallow.