Sony Announces Sale of 2nd Generation Autonomous Entertainment Robot "AIBO" [ERS-210] ( from the aibo wiki)
- With Additional Advanced Features to Increase Interaction.
(Tokyo, Japan) - Sony Corporation today announced that following on from the sale of the first ever autonomous entertainment robot AIBO [ERS-110], they will introduce a 2nd Generation "AIBO" [ERS-210] that has a greater ability to express emotion for more intimate communication with people. Order taking will start from November 16 and there will be no restriction on the number of units produced or the time period for orders: all customers ordering "AIBO" [ERS-210] will be able to purchase a unit.
|Autonomous Entertainment Robot "AIBO"
Color: gold, silver, black
* choose from three color variations
* Autonomous application software sold separately
The new [ERS-210] has additional movement in both ears and an increased number of LED (face x 4, tail x 2) and touch sensors (head, chin, back) which means that it can show an abundant array of emotions such as "joy" and "anger". In order to increase interaction with people, the [ERS-110] series most distinctive feature, its autonomous robot technology (reacting to external stimulus and making its own judgements) that allows AIBO to learn and mature, has been enhanced. It will now include features frequently requested by AIBO owners such as a Name Recording Function (recognizes its own name), Voice Recognition (recognizes simple words) and Photo Taking.
The technologies that allow the [ERS-210] to communicate, such as the autonomous feature which gives AIBO the ability to learn and mature plus the voice recognition technologies etc. will be available on a special flash memory AIBO Memory Stick software application (Autonomous AIBO-ware) called "AIBO Life" [ERF-210AW01] (*sold separately). So that people can enjoy using AIBO in a variety of new ways an additional two application software (AIBO-ware), "Hello AIBO! Type A" [ERF-210AW02] demonstration software and "Party Mascot" [ERF-210AW03] game software (*both sold separately), are also being introduced. A new line-up of AIBO accessories such as a carrying case and software that enables owners to perform simple edits to AIBO's movements and tonal sounds on a home PC will also be offered to personalize the way owners can enjoy interacting with their AIBO.
Similar to previous AIBO product offerings orders will be accepted by the Internet and telephone, in addition orders will also be accepted for the first time at various retail outlets to allow people to actually experience the product first-hand and understand the charm of AIBO. The stores (department stores, Sony Plaza etc.) have agreed to set up special in-store "AIBO Shops" to display the product and give customers the chance to experience AIBO. Product delivery is planned to start from early December.
The AIBO [ERS-210] will also be available in the US (US $1,500 excluding tax) and Europe*(Euro 1,500 excluding VAT) with the start of order taking coinciding with Japan on November 16 and product delivery planned for early December.
This year on August 1, with the aim of developing a genuine entertainment robot business, the ER Business Division became a separate "Entertainment Robot Company" (ERC) within Sony Corporation. In the future Sony is not solely interested in testing the market and developing the technology for entertainment robots, but is committing itself to establishing and expanding the consumer market for entertainment robots.
|(*)||Sales of AIBO [ERS-210] are planned for- Austria, Greece, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Norway.|
Main Features of "AIBO" [ERS-210]
- 1) 3 Different Color Variations
- The [ERS-210] is available in three color variations (silver, gold and black) so customers can choose the one that suits them best.
- 2) Autonomous Robot AIBO - actions based on own judgement
- When used with Memory Stick application (AIBO-ware) "AIBO Life" (*sold separately) [ERF-210AW01] AIBO acts as a fully autonomous robot and can make independent decisions about its own actions and behavior. AIBO grows up with abundant individuality by interacting with its environment and communicating with people by responding to its own instincts such as "the desire to play with people" and "the desire to look for the objects it loves".
- 3) Enhanced Features to Express Emotions
- When used in conjunction with "AIBO Life" (*sold separately) AIBO [ERS-210] owners can enjoy the following features to their full capacity:
- (1) Touch Sensors on the head, chin and back
- In addition to the sensor on the head, new touch sensors have been added to the back and under the chin for more intimate interaction with people.
- (2) 20 Degrees of Freedom
- A greater variety of expressions due to an increase in the degrees of freedom of movement from 18 on the [ERS-110] and [ERS-111] (mouth x 1, head x 3, tail x 2, leg x3 per leg) to 20 degrees of freedom with new movement added to the ears on the AIBO [ERS-210].
- (3) LED on the Tail
- In addition to LED (light-emitting diodes) on the face, LED have been added to the tail. A total of 4 LED on the face (expressing emotions such as "joy" "anger") plus 2 on the tail (expressing emotions like "anxiety" "agitation") allows AIBO to express a greater variety of emotions.
- 4) Enhanced Communication Ability with New Advanced Features
- When used in conjunction with "AIBO Life" (*sold separately) AIBO [ERS-210] has the following features:
- (1) Personalized Name (name recording & recognition):
- Owners can record their own personal name for "AIBO" and it will respond to this name by actions and emitting a special electronic sound.
- (2) Word Recognition (voice recognition function):
- Depends on AIBO's level of development and maturity. The number of words and numbers AIBO can recognize will change as it grows up until it can recognize about 50 simple words. In response to the words it recognizes AIBO will perform a variety of actions and emit electronic sounds.
- (3) Response to Intonation of Speech (synthetic AIBO language):
- When spoken to, "AIBO" can imitate the intonation (musical scale) of the words it hears by using its own "AIBO language" (tonal electronic language).
- 5) Photo Taking Function
- If used in conjunction with "AIBO Life" and "AIBO Fun Pack" software applications (*both sold separately) AIBO will take a photograph of what it can see using a special color camera when it hears someone say Take a photo. Using "AIBO Fun Pack" software [ERF-PC01] photographs taken by AIBO can be seen on a home PC screen.
- 6) Wireless LAN Card
- By purchasing a separate IEEE802.11b "AIBO Wireless LAN Card" [ERA-201D1], inserting it into a PC card slot and using "AIBO Master Studio" software (*sold separately) the movements and sounds AIBO makes can be created on a home PC and sent wirelessly to control AIBO's movements.
- 7) Other Features
- * Open-R ver 1.1 architecture
- * Uses Sony's original real-time OS "Aperios"
- * The head and legs can be removed from the body and changed.
* Entertainment Robots "AIBO" [ERS-210] Main Features
|CPU||64 bit RISC Processor|
|Internal Memory||32 Mega-bite|
|External Memory/Program Storage||AIBO-ware Memory Stick (sold separately)|
|Moveable Parts||Mouth : 1 degree of freedom
Head : 3 degrees of freedom
Leg : 3 degrees of freedom x 4
Ear : 1 degrees of freedom x 2
Tail : 2 degrees of freedom
Total : 20 degrees of freedom
|Input/Output||PC Card slot : In/Out|
|Memory Stick Slot In/Out|
|AC IN Power Supply connector Input|
|Image Input||1/6 inch CMOS Image sensor|
|Audio Input||Stereo Microphone|
|Built-in Sensors||Temperature Sensor|
|Infrared Distance Sensor|
|Touch sensors (head) Switch( back, chin & back of legs)|
|Built in clock||Date & Time|
|Power Consumption||Approx. 9W (Standard operation in autonomous mode)|
|Operating Time||Approx. 1.5 (Standard operation in autonomous mode using fully charged ERA-201B1 battery)|
(width x height x length)
|152 x 281 x250 (not including the ears & tail)|
|Weighte||Approx. 1.5Kg (Including battery & memory stick)|
|Supplied Accessoriese||AC Adapter, Lithium Ion Battery Pack ERA-201B1 (x 1), AC Adapter, Manual, Pink Ball|
* Memory Stick Application (AIBO-ware) Sold Separately
- Autonomous AIBO-ware "AIBO Life" for [ERS-210]
[ERF-210AW01] (Price 9,000 yen excluding tax)
Allows AIBO to interact autonomously - learns and matures, remembers own name, voice recognition etc.
- Demonstration AIBO-ware "Hello AIBO! Type A" for [ERS-210]
[ERF-210AW02] (Price 8,000 yen excluding tax)
Enjoy AIBO as a fully developed and playful adult entertainment robot.
- Game AIBO-ware "Party Mascot" for [ERS-210]
[ERF-210AW03] (Priced 9,000 yen excluding tax)
Enjoy playing games with AIBO
* PC Application Soft Sold Separately
- "AIBO Fun Pack" (compatible with Windows 98/Me/2000 Professional)
[ERF-PC01] (Price 10,000 yen excluding tax) Includes CD-ROM and Manual
Software that allows owners to create a journal of the photographs taken by AIBO and enables AIBO to be programmed to celebrate birthdays etc. Also possible to check the level of maturity AIBO has reached.
- "AIBO Master Studio" (compatible with Windows 98/Me/2000 Professional)
[ERF-PC02] (Price 50,000 yen) Includes CD-ROM, Programming Memory Stick and Manual.
Edit simple movements and sounds for AIBO using a home PC and make original movements etc. When used in conjunction with the "AIBO Wireless LAN Card" it is possible to control AIBO movements by sending the programmed information wirelessly.
* Other Accessories
- Energy Station (Battery Charging Unit)
[ERA-210P1] (Price 17,000 yen excluding tax)
When AIBO is placed on the Energy Station the battery inside is recharged. The Energy Station also has an extra charging slot so extra batteries can be recharged while AIBO in use. A liquid crystal display informs owners on the status of the batteries and can be used to set the correct time on a clock inside AIBO and the volume level of the sounds AIBO makes.
- AC Adapter
[ERA-201P1] (Price 10,000 yen excluding tax)
- Lithium Ion Battery Pack
[ERA-201B1] (Price 9,000 yen excluding tax)
- AIBO Carrying Bag
[ERA-201C1] (Price 15,000 yen excluding tax)
3 color variations (pink, blue, black)
- AIBO Programming Memory Stick (8MB)
[ERA-MS008] (Price 3,400 yen excluding tax)
Necessary for transferring movements programmed for AIBO created by "AIBO Master Studio".
- AIBO Wireless LAN Card
[ERA-201D1 (Price 20,000 yen excluding tax)
IEEE802.11b standard AIBO Wireless LAN Card allows movements created by "AIBO Master Studio" to be sent wireless to AIBO [ERS-210].
* Order Taking & Sales Information
- Order Taking to begin from November 16, 2000 (Thurs.) from 10 am
- Products will be manufactured and sold to fill all orders
- There are no limits on the number of units and the order period
- Only people resident in Japan may order products in Japan
- "AIBO" Home Page http://www.aibo.com *this link is no longer active and a revised page does not exist.
- * Starts from November 16, 2000 (Thursday) from 10 am (24 hours).
- When ordering from mobile phone & PHS 03-5470-0666
- *From November 16, 2000 (Thursday)
- * Everyday (incl. Sat & Sun) from 10 am to 6 pm
- * Closed from Dec. 30 to Jan. 3
- [Retail Outlets - 'AIBO Shop']
- From November 16, 2000 some department stores and Sony Plaza etc. will create an 'AIBO shop' to display the product and accept orders.
* Planned Display of the Product
- Sony Building (Ginza, Tokyo) Beginning of November, 2000
- Sony Tower (Shinsaibashi, Osaka) Beginning of November, 2000
- PC EXPO (Tokyo Big Site, Tokyo) 17 - 21 October, 2000
- ROBODEX (Yokohama Pacifico, Kanagawa) 24 - 26 November, 2000
* Renewal of AIBO Home Page
See the latest information about the new AIBO [ERS-210] from 4pm today (JST) on the renewed AIBO Home Page http://www.aibo.com *this link is no longer active and a revised page does not exist.
* AIBO History
|* June 1998||Announcement of entertainment robot architecture [Open-R]|
|* June 1999||Sale of first ever home entertainment robot [ERS-110].
(3,000 units sold in Japan & 2,000 in the USA: Total 5,000)
|* Nov. 1999||Sale of Special Edition [ERS-111]
(Total 10,000 units sold in Japan, the US and Europe)
|* Feb. 2000||Sale of same [ERS-111]
(Total 30,000 units sold in Japan, the US and Europe)
* "AIBO" and the "AIBO logo", "Memory Stick", "OPEN-R" are registered Sony trademarks.
* Windows(R) 98/2000/Me are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the US and in other countries.
* Other product names are the registered trademarks of the relevant companies
AIBO becomes Sony mascot
AIBO, or Artificial Intelligent Robot, has been a media darling since its introduction in the autumn of 1999. Throughout Sony Europe’s 2002 advertising campaign, consumers have seen the AIBO ERS-210 model engaging with Sony products from WEGA televisions, VAIO PCs and DVD players to digital still cameras, Handycams and Walkmans. Sony Europe is encouraged by the simplicity of the advertising - it is all about Sony products. AIBO allows for a synergy across the different product businesses as well as adding charm and character through its engagement and interaction with products.
The main aim behind introducing AIBO as the star of Sony Europe’s advertising is to provide an integrated advertising approach. This approach provides a good balance between brand awareness and product advertising. Research has shown that AIBO performs well at representing what the consumers expect from Sony – cutting-edge technology, innovation, entertainment and fun.
One simple idea was needed to represent the entire range of products. Using AIBO as a ‘marque’ throughout the advertising campaigns strengthens the Sony brand in consumers’ minds. Simultaneously, AIBO showcases Sony key products.
The television campaign was launched with two commercials in May 2002; one for the WEGA Theatre, Sony’s home entertainment systems, and the other for Net MD Walkman.
Sony is also using AIBO as a mascot in print, outdoor, cinema and online advertising. This new campaign has given the Sony brand a unique look and feel – providing the ‘standout’ the Sony products truly deserve. This campaign is an integral part of the existing ‘Go Create’ strategy that emphasizes connectivity and creativity in using Sony products to help make people’s lives more enjoyable.
This first wave of AIBO commercials has enjoyed significant success. Surveys carried out in the aftermath of the commercials have confirmed the expectations that were based on pre-campaign research. The surveys were designed to assess the impact AIBO was having on the advertising campaigns as well as to measure AIBO awareness and perceptions. The majority of respondents, 88%, knew AIBO. A large proportion of those respondents got to know the friendly entertainment robot from his presence on television, followed by a smaller proportion that met AIBO on the Internet. AIBO is associated with expressions including ‘full of high-tech functions’, ‘suitable to Sony’, ‘exclusive’ and ‘fascinating’.
Overall, AIBO had a welcomed impact on the advertising campaign. The best results were recorded by the WEGA Theatre campaign, where survey respondents were very
enthusiastic about the television commercial and the print adverts. The Sony Net MD Walkman and the other products of the campaign closely matched these promising results.
The next advertising campaign will span the run up to Christmas, with a debut set for October 2002. A similar concept will be used to advertise the range of Sony products, once again using AIBO to showcase their advantages.