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WowWee's new robot dog reacts to different human voices and surroundings

WowWee, the toymaker best known for the Robosapien, its 2004 hit product, showed off its latest smart toy at the 2016 CE Week show in New York, a pet robot named CHiP. Chief Technology Officer Davin Sufer gave a demonstration of how the toy works

Although CHiP is geared toward children, it has quite a lot of artificial intelligence compared to an ordinary toy. Like a real pet, it’s able to react to human actions and responses, like hands clapping and touching (what WowWee calls GestureSense), voice recognition, and when it’s picked up. CHiP can also detect its immediate surroundings through infrared vision and beacon-based technology.

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When paired with a smartphone via Bluetooth Low Energy, you get greater control over CHiP, as well as play fetch with it by using a special ball. Like a Roomba, when CHiP is low on power, it automatically returns to its charging station. If you’re wearing a connected wristband, it can follow you around, too.

For WowWee, CHiP demonstrates how far technology has come since the first Robosapien, a dancing robot that was more about amusement than anything else. CHiP’s AI, however, gives it the potential to actually bond with children. Through continuous interaction, each CHiP can be trained to react uniquely with a particular owner.

The toy arrives on August 30, and it’s available now for pre-order sales via Amazon.