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Toys Hardware

New AIBO - Meet the ERS-7 186

Posted by michael
from the bow-wow dept.
ejtttje writes "Sony announced today (also here) the ERS-7, the third generation of the AIBO. New specifications include more computational power, improved sensors, and, last but not least, built-in 802.11b WiFi standard! Additional information from the Japanese Flash promo includes this flash video. (8MB, mirror - sorry, no mpg). Sony will also be releasing a new version of the OPEN-R SDK to continue support of third party AIBO developers. (self plug ;) Pre-orders start October 10, and ship early November, for $1599 (in the US)."
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New AIBO - Meet the ERS-7

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  • or may be we should call it beodog ?
  • This new ERS-7 will usher in a new era of robotics wonders. Why, it seems like just yesterday that I got my very first AIBO. It wasn't cheap, either -- it cost over $2,600!

    The addition of Wireless Fidelity (or "Wi-Fi") will only improve robot dog technology. I look forward to the day that these robots run Linux.
  • by Gibble (514795) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:28AM (#6879912) Homepage
    The next reality show...
    "Hack the neighbors AIBO"
    • Honey, why does the robot dog keep humping my leg lately???
    • With Wifi capability, you could give this thing commands from some distance (with the appropriate yagi or waveguide antenna).

      Or you could give commands to your neighbor's AIBO... Imagine the potential for invasion of privacy: AIBO wanders into your bathroom (or the bathroom of the girl next door), takes a picture, wanders out, emails it to somebody...

      A ready-made remote-controllable robot spy in your house? Yikes.
  • ESR-7 (Score:3, Funny)

    by Gzip Christ (683175) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:28AM (#6879919) Homepage
    I thought for a second that the headline said that the ESR is the new Aibo. Then came the dreams of a massive, self-replicating army of robotic ESRs descending on a certain company in Utah. Then I realized that I am dyslexic. Oh well.
  • by tunabomber (259585) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:28AM (#6879921) Homepage
    Enter the new hacker sport of WarRoboDogWalking.
    • by C. (20089)
      The only comfort is that unsuspecting Aibo users have very little chance of broadcasting their home contents to hackers passing by. Under existing Aibo software (and probably under the new ERS-7 software), the Wifi card turn off automatically if it doesn't detect an active Wifi network around.

      As usual, mostly semi-knowledgeable people are at risk, not the newbies nor the "experts"...

      --
      Christian.
      Aibotoys Aibo Games [aibotoys.com]
  • by Prince_Ali (614163) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:28AM (#6879922) Journal
    New specifications include more computational power, improved sensors, and, last but not least, built-in 802.11b WiFi standard!

    Finally an intelligent wireless access point that can move itself around the house!

  • by danormsby (529805) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:29AM (#6879928) Homepage
    One of these, some robots kids and my family is complete.
    • I take it then that you already have a robotic piece of ass? Please post a link to the site from which you purchased it, so you can help the teeming masses (IE, the rest of the slashdot readership.)
  • by Mr. Darl McBride (704524) * on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:29AM (#6879929)
    The coolest peripheral is one that I'm not sure they'll be showing. They were demonstrating the new Aibo at a small Sony developer gathering the month before last. The gentleman who was doing the demonstration had a tiny remote control with two joysticks and an array of buttons.

    If you're like me, you've got an Aibo who does all kinds of cool shit, but only when nobody else is around. When ten people are circling the Aibo and cooing and ahing, the sensors get all confused and he just sits and yaps like he thinks he's blocked. With the remote, he was able to turn off the eyes momentarily, as well as putting the thing in a no-reaction mode where he could just reposition the thing and restart whichever react mode it was in.

    If I could get my hands on one of these, I could impress friends more easily, and they'd probably sell a dozen times as many!

    • I'm a mormon again. I can't type this morning.

      s/not sure they'll be showing/not sure they'll be selling/

      Regardless, it was a great little controller. From what I could tell, one of the joysticks was dedicated to moving the Aibo, and several of the buttons had fixed functions (labels built on, but in Japanese so I couldn't read them). The other joystick and buttons all had generic number and letter labels, which leads me to think that you could use them with your own Aibo apps, if you picked up the program

    • If you're like me, you've got an Aibo who does all kinds of cool shit, but only when nobody else is around.

      If you've got an Aibo, I doubt anybody's ever around.
  • pink bone ? (Score:5, Funny)

    by maharg (182366) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:31AM (#6879942) Homepage Journal
    AIBO's clever new behaviour has been rewarded with a new toy, the 'AIBONE'. In the form of a pink bone, AIBO can, for the first time ever, pick it up in it's mouth.

    I suppose it can lick it's balls too, just like the real thing !
  • WiFi (Score:2, Interesting)

    WiFi on the Aibos is nothing new.
    We [rose-hulman.edu] have a few "older" Aibos. They all of pcmcia wireless cards. They don't support wep, but I'm not too worried about somebody sniffing packets while the dogs talk to each other. The funny part is that the pcmcia slot is in the rear of the dogs between the legs. You gotta stick card in the dog's ass. I guess if the wifi is built in, its more humain than the sepository form.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:33AM (#6879959)
    Be sure to change your WEP keys regularly (You are running at least 128-bit WEP, changing it weekly, right?).. You wouldn't want someone spying on you with that built-in camera..
  • by orpheus2000 (166384) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:33AM (#6879962) Journal
    "Someone hacked my dog from the internet and made it piss all over the bed"

    Mmmm, wardriving just got more interesting.
  • Sony is behind it! Sony is bad like MSFT! I hate them.

    When Steve Jobs announces half the product for twice the cost, then I'll be interested!

    I cant wait for my iWiFAIBO G5!
    • It'll be called the iBo. It won't be a dog, or a cat either, but an iguana. Or a bird. Probably be the first robotic pet that can fly, which is really impressive since it's made out of space grade aluminium.

      Another thing to consider is that you're just a troll, stratjakt. Anything you say should be divided by a factor of idiocy and ignored.
    • I cant wait for my iWiFAIBO G5!

      I was going to guess that it'd e called the AIBOrt Hub.
  • by Wonderkid (541329) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:35AM (#6879980) Homepage
    It doesn't do anything at all useful. If people want a pet, far better to own a real animal that will teach the owner about responsibility and patience - after all, you cannot turn a puppy off. The type of robot that IS useful is the Roomba (spelling?) that vacuums the floor and from reviews, appears to do a good job too. Anyway, I'm a pussy man.
    • It doesn't do anything at all useful.

      Of course it does. It teaches you the responsible spending of money. For example, if you picked up a puppy from the APL, that is called responsible spending. If you bought an AIBO you are a fucking moron and should have your credit card cut up because you obviously have too much money or too much credit (or both) for your own good.

      • On the other hand, how much does it cost to keep a live dog? If it costs $1 a day to feed it, then your AIBO would be cheaper after four years or so. That's not counting pet bills, increased cleaning bills, and replacing chewed valuables...

        Not to mention, keeping a flesh-and-blood dog in a city is not very nice for the dog, especially if it is in some tiny house where it cannot be walked every day because everyone's out walking, or because its owner is old and can't get out much or whatever.
    • by pubjames (468013) on Friday September 05, 2003 @12:00PM (#6880199)
      What exactly is the point of an Aibo?

      Well, at the moment, there isn't much point, other than entertainment.

      But I think it represents increadible long term thinking on the part of Sony. They are getting experience in developing and marketing domestic robots. There must be $$$ of R&D going into this, and I expect that Sony isn't making a profit on it. But all the functionality that's going into Aibo - I bet within ten years Sony will be able to create a human size human robot that can perform simple actions from voice commands - i.e. "pick that newspaper up off the coffee table and bring it to me". There might not be much of a market for Aibo at the moment, but imagine the market for a robot that can do that -- great for older people and the handicapped, as well of a million other uses we'll probably only think of once domestic robots are commonplace.

      When this type of domestic robot is possible, Sony is going to be years ahead of any other company in the technical development, manufacture and marketing of them. Respect to Sony.
    • ...after all, you cannot turn a puppy off.

      Sure you can! You just won't be able to turn him back on again!

      GTRacer
      - More of a cat person

    • They're neat little robots. The RoboCup [robocup.org] robotic soccer championships have a leage for Aibos (I think it's officially dubbed the "4-legged" league but the current rules [openr.org] mandate aibos [robofolio.com]).

      You can imagine how hard it is to make a team of aibos play soccer autonomously!

    • Maybe with a good battery Aibos would be useful in security applications - they have eyes and 802.11 now - they can be security cameras wherever you need them to go. Do they have an port to wire in a GPS?
    • You can't write code to run on a real dog.
    • They play football [openr.org] (soccer). Maybe that doesn't fit your definition of "usefull" but then human beings like David Beckham would also have to be considered useless. Oh, wait, he is. Scratch that thought.

      When RoboCup was held in Stockholm me and the mates went down and checked it out. The Aibo's were hilarious!

      Two teams were especially good.

      • The Tokyo team. They had programmed their bots to do Favorite-Martial-Arts-Coin-Op-Game-esque moves. For side shots, the Aibo tilts it snout way up, poses for a seco

  • Disappointing video (Score:2, Informative)

    by Lorphos (194963)
    I was interested in the new Aibo, but the flash-video is a downer. The new Aibo moves very slowly and robo-like.. i was hoping it'd be a lot smoother and faster.
    The SDK looks cool though.
    • i was also disappointed. this flash video was the first that i saw an aibo in movement either live or by video. although i knew it wouldn't be anything like the teddy bear on AI, i at least thought it would have more movement that a near blind, 99 year old elderly person using a walker.

      does anybody know or have any videos on how the other japanese robot (the 3ft humanoid) moves?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ... welcome our robotic dog overlords.

    You knew it *had* to be said.

    "Go Daggit!"

  • by pjcreath (513472) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:41AM (#6880025)
    The ERS-7 can understand nearly 180 voice commands

    Including "give me back my $1599"?
  • 8 megs and it just shows the bot walking and fetching a bone? Come on!!

    It kinda cute how it notices the bone and wags its tail after picking it up, but stil.. for the ultimate experience, you should get a real dog..

    Here's an idea: You can use the bot to train the dog. For example.. guard the sofa so the dog won't sit on it and stuff.
  • IMHO (Score:5, Funny)

    by mbrod (19122) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:49AM (#6880103) Homepage Journal
    Wow 7 completely different acronyms in one story post. Not bad.
  • For a moment, I thought that an Aibo was launched into space with some new European earth observation satellite [esa.int]. And I was thinking, what the HELL kind of publicity stunt is THIS???

  • Obivous? (Score:5, Funny)

    by kurosawdust (654754) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:51AM (#6880121)
    The model with built-in firearms is, of course, the ESR-7...
  • I don't like my aibo (Score:5, Informative)

    by peterpi (585134) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:53AM (#6880139)
    Hello.

    I have (well, my team at work has...) and aibo ERS-220, and it really is a heap of shit. This is not a troll; I really do have one, and it really is shit.

    We were expecting it to do cool stuff, but it just wonders round the room bumping into stuff. After a while it sits down and plays a little song. After doing this a few times it runs out of battery and dies.

    That's it. Biggest waste of two thousand pounds ever. Now the new one's come out we'll be lucky to get four hundred for it on eBay.

    I'm done now (:

    • I watched the video link... Quick question for AIBO owners: Is that the speed that they travel at? Can they run or cover more floor space faster?
      • The video shows the aibo performing at its absolute best. That is as fast as it goes.

        Note the shape of the table. From the aibo's point of view, it's staring at a wall. If you have a table with regular legs it won't have a chance.

        Also note how long it takes to pick up the toy (and the surrounding area is completely empty). Cute the first time, I guess.

        • by SnowZero (92219)
          Or you can run our code [cmu.edu] and make it walk twice as fast. The person here [aibohack.com] ported it into a smaller test program and has a nice demo. If you can't program, the Aibo is probably not a wise investment. If you can, think of it as a portable computer with a camera and legs... 1500-1600 USD isn't so bad for that.
    • Um, quite. I always got the feeling that the difference between an Aibo and a cheap knock off was this:

      • Aibo knock off: Cheap plastic full of dumb technology.
      • Genuine Aibo: Cheap plastic full of smart technology that they promise will actually do stuff in the N+1 version.
    • What kind of "team" and/or "work" involves buying thousand dollar toys?

      And what exactly "cool stuff" were you all "expecting".

      (Note: this is a lot funny with Austin Power style finger quoting)
  • Jetsons (Score:3, Funny)

    by metalligoth (672285) <metalligoth.gmail@com> on Friday September 05, 2003 @12:02PM (#6880221)
    Did anyone else feel like they were watching the Jetsons when they saw that flash video? Some of this stuff is so cool, I think for a second, "Nah, that can only happen in the future, like after the year 2001 or something.... Oh."
  • by Jedi Holocron (225191) on Friday September 05, 2003 @12:04PM (#6880234) Homepage Journal
    Hack these with a worm or something so they all wander around exclaiming, "EXTERMINATE!"
  • New aibo w/wifi == free hot spot sniffer.
    Your wireless connection will never be safe!
  • AIBO AI Mind (Score:4, Informative)

    by Mentifex (187202) on Friday September 05, 2003 @12:08PM (#6880265) Homepage Journal

    The Aibo Kennel Club [aibokennelclub.org] has an Aibo AI Mind [aibokennelclub.org] that needs some re-working and hacking so as to be installed in your pet robot dog -- making it an intelligent companion.

    A Python Software Development (SDK) [evolution.com] is available for the Evolution Robotics ER1 Personal Robot -- why not for the Aibo?

    The Python AI Weblog [sourceforge.net] is a start for coding Python AI minds for Aibos and other robots.

    The Visual Basic AI Weblog [e-mind.org] promotes AI coding not just for Aibo pet dogs but for humanoid robots.

    The Perl AI Weblog [visitware.com] is for perl geeks, Aibo owners, and coders of server-side 'Net-roaming AI.

    The Lisp AI Weblog [virtualentity.com] goes beyond Aibo and other toys into the most serious AI theory [scn.org] and practice.

    Please support public-domain open-source artificial intelligence for Aibo and all other robots.

  • by MoobY (207480)
    The mirror is slower than the original site, and, why bother? The 8MB isn't worth it at all. You can see an aibo picking up its "aiBONE". *wow*
  • Why that gives a whole new meaning to packet sniffing!
  • Yes but... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Greyfox (87712)
    When will they mount a LASER on its FREAKING HEAD?

    There's a little Dr. Evil in all of us...

  • Um (Score:5, Funny)

    by jguevin (453329) on Friday September 05, 2003 @12:19PM (#6880368)
    From the press release: "For example, the owner can send an email instruction to AIBO asking it to take an unsuspecting picture of the
    owner's children and send it back to the mobile telephone."

    Spy on your children with AIBO! Seriously, that's pretty creepy. But I suppose the first time a kid gets in trouble because AIBO was snooping around, he'll

    1) Stop doing naughty stuff when AIBO is around.
    2) Put a towel over AIBO's head.
    3) Hack AIBO to send dad a picture of the kids sitting around reading books.
    4) Hack AIBO to send a picture of dad in a compromising position to dad's boss.
    5) Have a swarm of BattleBugs attack AIBO.

    • Email, eh? So what happens when your AIBO gets on a few mailing lists and the spam starts coming in?

      I suppose it will be similar to what happens when a real dog gets some spam - you'll have to deal with some strange shit.
    • Re:Um (Score:3, Interesting)

      by chrysrobyn (106763) *

      From the press release: "For example, the owner can send an email instruction to AIBO asking it to take an unsuspecting picture of the owner's children and send it back to the mobile telephone."

      I don't know about you, but when I was growing up, the kids were the ones who set the VCRs and kept the family computers going. None of my friends' familes were more capable -- anything technical was handed to the kids "who have no fear, but never seem to break it".

      So, some suspicous dad is going to be able to g

  • If you want a cheaper, less intelligent but still cool robot dog, get an I-Cybie. I don't believe it is being manufactured any more but there are still accessories available for it [i-cybie.com]. It's a babe magnet for the poor geek.

  • Remembering this [slashdot.org], perhaps the 4th generation Aibo could use similar technology. And with the AIBOne bone thing in this unit, its a step toward having it feed itself.

    Drop a couple little hydrogen capsule "treats" in a bowl, and then go around picking up empty ones from behind the couch.
  • I think these are really cool, but from playing with my cat, all I really want is a pet that can talk and do things for me. I swear if my cat coul get me a beer from the fridge by just me telling him, i'd be willing to pay a few grand for that.

    On another note this whole camera in the AIBO that you can watch - does anyone else think of "Familiars"
    • Uh, you missed the point of cats completely didn't you? A cat isn't supposed to fetch you beers, their purpose is to scratch your furniture, break anything expensive they can get their paws on, chew through speaker cables and mouse cords, and generally do whatever the hell they want.

      That's why I got two of the little monsters.
      • Don't forget the other notable functions:

        CATs (Completely Autonomous Terrorists) are nature's organics only vacuum cleamers. Much more efficient than a Roomba, and much much faster than an Aibo, they have the superior ability to detect food and catch it before it even hits the floor. The more efficient models can even catch it before it leaves your hand!

        Need some kid safe way to drive pests from your home? Get yourself a CAT and spend hours of fun watching it munch mice, assail ants, and eradicate roaches
  • by secs (262721)
    "Robo Puppy commencing 2 hour yipping session. Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip!" -- Robo Puppy
  • For example, the owner can send an email instruction to AIBO asking it to take an unsuspecting picture of the owner's children and send it back to the mobile telephone.

    What is this, the x-10 camera for pedophiles? Then there's that "pink bone" thing:

    Finally, AIBO's clever new behaviour has been rewarded with a new toy, the 'AIBOne'. In the form of a pink bone, AIBO can, for the first time ever, pick it up in its mouth.

    Yes, AIBO, pick up the pink bone, again and again. Mmmm....good robot dog. I th
  • This made me think of a movie I saw as a kid called C.H.O.M.P.S. [imdb.com]
  • $1599!? No offense an Aibo might be cool, but I'd rather get a new computer then a little robotic dog that would most likely get broken hella-lot easier.
  • They released some update that allowed him to find the charging station and charge himself when his battery was low. That kind of AI is amazing. It's almost sentient.
  • Damn my dsyleiax, uh... dyslec (*&$^(*&#@*#^$(* dsik .. danget! Never mnid. :P
  • I thought, for a second, that they were modeling the new AIBO after ESR.

Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward.

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