Sony launches 3rd-gen ERS-7 AIBO robot

Available in pearlescent white, the newly designed, futuristic ERS-7 AIBO model provides the greatest degree of autonomous behavior and functionality to date. It features a faster CPU, a higher resolution camera and twice as much memory as its predecessors.

With an accompanying software application entitled AIBO MIND (on 32 MB Memory Stick® media bundled with the ERS-7), the ERS-7 will allow owners to interact with the robot in numerous ways. For example, AIBO enthusiasts will be able to enjoy interacting with a more fluid autonomous robot via voice and tactile touch sensors, along with the ability to remotely access the robot and retrieve digital images on their PC via e-mail commands or an Internet browser (PC Wi-Fi connection required).

Additionally, later this year ERA will make available a new tool for the ERS-7 entitled AIBO Custom Manager (ACM). With ACM, owners will be able to add new content, via the Web, to their AIBO Mind Memory Stick media allowing them to personalize their ERS-7.

“This latest generation design is a result of significant evolutionary advancements in robotic hardware and software, as well as our analysis of what people want most in an Entertainment Robot,” said Victor Matsuda ERA’s vice president.

The ERS-7 model will also feature Illume-Face, an innovative LED face panel that provides a new way for the robot to express its feelings, emotions and current conditions.

In addition to increased voice recognition capabilities, which allow the robot to understand approximately180 voice commands, the new model comes equipped with a newly developed visual pattern recognition technology so it can identify 15 credit card sized AIBO Cards that issue commands, change settings and modes. Furthermore, with this technology, the ERS-7 is able to find its Energy Station and recharge itself when its battery runs low.

Additionally, the latest AIBO robot has been equipped with three new infrared distance sensors — two located in its snout and a new edge detection sensor installed in its chest. With the robot’s infrared sensor located in its snout AIBO will be able to better negotiate its environment, avoiding walls and solid obstacles. Further, with AIBO’s edge detection sensor the robot’s ability to detect an edge will be greatly improved reducing the risk of it falling off steep heights.

The new model, which has built-in wireless LAN connectivity, carries a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $1,599 and includes AIBO MIND software, a recharging Energy Station, one battery, a set of 15 AIBO Cards, an AIBOne (a new toy bone that AIBO can chase and retrieve for fun), AIBO’s favorite pink ball, and the WLAN Manager CD-ROM software.

The ERS-7 will be available, in early November (pre-orders begin on October 10), at the Sony Style Stores (New York, San Francisco and Orange County), the Sony Gallery (Chicago), and online at

Sony Entertainment Robot America will also be releasing an updated version of its freely-available OPEN-R software development kit (SDK) for the ERS-7, allowing for the development of customized software for the new robot. A public beta release of this SDK will be available at shipping time, with the complete release planned for February 2004. More information about the SDK is available online at

Pictures and discussion can be found here:

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Amazon’s updated base model Fire TV stick now comes with an Alexa remote

If you're looking to take your older TV into the streaming era, Amazon's most basic Fire TV Stick model just got more compelling than ever: Buyers can now get a free Alexa voice remote with their Fire TV Stick purchase.

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Product Review

LG Gram 14 proves 2-in-1 laptops don’t need to sacrifice battery for light weight

The LG Gram 14 2-in-1 aims to be very light for a laptop that converts to a tablet. And it is. But it doesn’t skimp on the battery, and so it lasts a very long time on a charge.

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.

AMD Radeon VII will support DLSS-like upscaling developed by Microsoft

AMD's Radeon VII has shown promise with early tests of an open DLSS-like technology developed by Microsoft called DirectML. It would provide similar upscale features, but none of the locks on hardware choice.

The Asus ZenBook 13 offers more value and performance than Apple's MacBook Air

The Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 is the latest in that company's excellent "budget" laptop line, and it looks and feels better than ever. How does it compare to Apple's latest MacBook Air?

You could be gaming on AMD’s Navi graphics card before the end of the summer

If you're waiting for a new graphics card from AMD that doesn't cost $700, you may have to wait for Navi. But that card may not be far away, with new rumors suggesting we could see a July launch.

Is AMD's Navi back on track for 2019? Here's everything you need to know

With a reported launch in 2019, AMD is focusing on the mid-range market with its next-generation Navi GPU. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles, like Sony's PlayStation 5.

Cortana wants to be friends with Alexa and Google Assistant

Microsoft no longer wants to compete against Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant in the digital assistant space. Instead, it wants to transform Cortana into a skill that can be integrated into other digital assistants.

Microsoft leans on A.I. to resume safe delivery of Windows 10 Update

Microsoft is leaning on artificial intelligence as it resumes the automatic rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. You should start seeing the update soon now that Microsoft has resolved problems with the initial software.

Stop dragging windows on your Mac. Here's how to use Split View to multitask

The latest iterations of MacOS offer a native Split View feature that can automatically divide screen space between two applications. Here's how to use Split View on a Mac, adjust it as needed, and how it can help out.

It's not all free money. Here's what to know before you try to mine Bitcoin

Mining Bitcoin today is harder than it used to be, but if you have enough time, money, and cheap electricity, you can still turn a profit. Here's how to get started mining Bitcoin at home and in the cloud.