‘Aibo’ robot dog made by Sony

Made by Sony Corporation in Japan, 1999.

The Aibo is the Sony Corporation’s first product venture into domestic entertainment robots. The Aibo is principally designed as a robotic companion.

Through the 1990s new toy products have increasingly incorporated more compact and cheaper computer controlled technologies (including robot control software/mechanism combined with machine intelligence programming). The Aibo product incorporates a combination of these types of technologies.

Prior to the release of the Aibo other toy manufactur...

Summary

2000/12/1
Robot: small robot in the shape of a dog with all limbs, head, ears and tail articulated and moveable. The unit has a silver and grey plastic casing, with a tinted plastic visor 'face', lights behind the visor illuminate when the unit is switched on, and form 'eyes', a small camera is located at the tip of the nose section. At the rear is a hinged flap that opens to reveal cavities for the battery and the memory stick. On the dog's 'back' there is a grill for cooling.

Re-charging station: station for re-charging Aibo's battery and a home base for the robot to lay on when not in use. the station of has a dark grey plastic casing. At the rear there is an AC power input connector and along the front light up indicators for power etc. The battery slots are at the front and the charging terminal for the robot is on top.

Remote control: sound controller for robot made of dark grey plastic with black rubber buttons. There is a speaker in the back with the battery casing that has a clip on cover. Commands are printed in silver around each button on the front.

AC adaptor: rectangular black plastic casing with a cord and plug for power supply and a cord and plug to connect to the robot's re-charging station.

Batteries: four identical lithium ion battery packs, long rectangular shape with grey plastic casings.

Memory sticks: two memory sticks, flat rectangular casing of blue plastic with metal connectors and locking mechanism at back. One labelled 'Aibo-ware ver 1.0' and the other 'Blt/Demo'.

Operation manual: colour printed booklet, 108 pages with a black cover showing image of Aibo robot and title 'Sony Entertainment Robot ERS-110 aiBo, Memory Stick Operation Manual'. The booklet contains chapters on Meet Aibo, Getting started, Aibo's four modes, Living with Aibo, Playing with remote controlled Aibo, Charging and adjustments and Additional information.

Caution slip: small square of green paper printed on one side describing handling of battery and memory stick.

Instruction document: rectangular sheet of yellow paper printed on one side showing diagram of how to insert memory stick.

Certificate: certificate of authenticity colour printed on textured, light purple cardboard. The certificate shows an image of Aibo and prints of it's two front paws.

Stickers: colour printed set of five 'aiBo' stickers on a sheet of green paper.

Correction sheet for operations manual: A4 sheet of white paper printed on one side, titled 'Corrections ERS-110'.

Correction slip for operations manual: A5 sheet of green paper printed on one side, titled 'About access lamp for "Memory Stick" '.

Motion editor software with manuals and packaging: packaged software containing memory stick, adaptor, CD and instruction documents.

Memory stick with cover: computer memory stick labelled 'Aibo-ware ver 1.0', flat, rectangular casing of blue plastic with metal connectors and locking mechanism at back. Cloudy white plastic slip in cover.

Memory stick/PC card adaptor with case: rectangular, flat adaptor made with a colour printed metal casing. There is a slot in one end for the memory stick. Flip open case made of smoky black plastic.

CD Aibo Performer software with case: CD printed on one side in white and blue titled 'aiBo Aibo performer motion editor ERA-110AP Ver 1.0'. Clear plastic, flip open case.

User guide: black and white printed booklet on white paper, 74 pages titled 'Sony Aibo Aibo performer kit ERF-510 user guide'. Contains chapters on Introduction, Setting up, Using Aibo performer, Playing with Aibo and Additional information.

Correction sheet: A5 sheet of yellow paper printed on both sides, titled 'Sony ERF-510 corrections and additional information'.

Leaflet: white A5 sheet of paper titled 'Sony ERF-510 notes on using the "Memory stick" '.

Packaging for software: inner packing made of brown cardboard folded and with cut outs for the various parts to fit snuggly in. The colour printed, cardboard box is covered with a blue, green and orange scheme. Titled 'Sony Aibo Aibo performer Ver 1.0 motion editor (Aibo performer kit) ERF-510 for ERS 110'. Product information in English and Japanese is printed on the back.

Ball: small ball made of bright pink rubber.

Delivery slip: A4 sheet of white paper printed in Japanese and dated 9/12/2000.

Unpacking instructions for Aibo robot: folded leaflet made of printed white paper. Instructions in Japanese with diagrams of how to pack and unpack Aibo from it's box.

Packaging for battery packs: two identical cardboard boxes, printed in black and labelled 'Sony ERA-110B battery pack'.

Packing: two moulded pieces of white polystyrene to fit around Aibo's re-charging station.

Packing: two moulded pieces of pale pink polystyrene to fit around the Aibo robot.

Box: folded box made of brown cardboard with a white plastic carry handle at the top. Packing diagrams on white paper are glued to the inside of the lid. There are various stickers and labels printed in English and Japanese all over the box.

Production

Aibo is the Sony Corporation's first product venture into domestic entertainment robots. Aibo is principally designed as a robotic companion. Aibo can sense and track a luminescent pink-red colour and is supplied with a rubber ball of this shade. This tracking "behaviour" offers users a strong interactive experience of Aibo.

Through the late 1990s new toy products have increasingly incorporated more compact and cheaper computer controlled technologies (including robot control software/mechanism and machine intelligence programming).

The Aibo product incorporates a combination of these types of technologies.

Prior to the release of Aibo other toy manufacturers have designed and marketed machine intelligent products such as the furby and tamagotchi, the latter briefly occupying a cult or obsession status among young consumers.

Aibo will be superseded by machine intelligent products of greater computing capacity, mobility and greater interactivity, independence or functionality.

The Aibo or ERS-110 entertainment robot production run was 5000 units (2000 and 3000 distributed in the USA and Japan respectively). All units sold shortly (2 days) after release. Aibo's acceptance on the market confirms a growing demand for consumer products of this type and reveals some consumer trends and desires.
Sony Corporation 1999

History

Aibo is acquired as a working object principally for demonstration within the Universal Machine exhibition. A public program has been developed. The themes and issues that Aibo raises and resonates are linked to many aspects of the Universal Machine. Concepts in this public program include artificial intelligence, robotics, creation complex, anthropomorphisation, automata, domestic life, cyborgs, androids, animal companions, cultural attitudes to technology.

Aibo can sense and track a luminescent pink-red colour and is supplied with a rubber ball of this shade. This tracking "behaviour" offers users a strong interactive experience of Aibo.

Aibo operates in three distinct modes - autonomous, game and performance. Sony descriptions of Aibo's abilities anthropomorphize many aspects of the toy (apart from Aibo's shape). Aibo's actual capacity to autonomously develop behaviour and movement is non existent. All behaviours are programmed movement files sometimes combined with sound files. Aibo's "behaviour" or repetitions of run files can be altered by short or long contact with a sensor located on the "head" (an emulation of real positive or negative reinforcement). Aibo receives commands as sound tones via a controller. Similar audio frequencies produced by a person or instrument will prompt the respective program.
Manufactured by the Sony Corporation and purchased by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences from that organisation
Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences 1999-2002

Source

Purchased 2000
30 January, 2000

Cite this Object

'Aibo' robot dog made by Sony 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 23 July 2017, <https://ma.as/8421>
{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/8421 |title='Aibo' robot dog made by Sony |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=23 July 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Interface at the Powerhouse Museum.
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