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Nov 17

Gizmodo reports that Sony “will happily sell you make-believe virtual meals” for their robotic Aibo dog to unlock tricks, one of several new features added since its re-launch in 2017:

The new feature that will appeal to most owners, however, is Aibo Food, which allows the robot to be virtually fed using augmented reality through the Aibo smartphone app. Meals can be purchased using coins, which are awarded to users through random actions like repeatedly using the Aibo app, or during special events. But once users runs out of coins, which is bound to quickly happen as they try out the new Aibo Food feature, they can either wait for more Sony handouts or purchase additional coins for a fee.

Sony points out that Aibo’s performance and features aren’t dependent on whether the dog is regularly fed — it is, after all, just a robot. So hopefully the company won’t change its mind down the line, making your pup act sluggish and distracted when you’re not forking out for pretend food…. Of course, other complications arrive once you start feeding an animal, and the new software update also allows users to finally potty train their Aibos using a new mapping feature so the robot doesn’t pretend-shit all over your house.

This appears to be a free feature, until Sony realises it can sell owners virtual poop bags.

There’s also a new web-based API/developer program that lets you program the robot dog to perform custom actions — and Aibo dogs now come equipped with some new patrol/security functionality.

“Using its facial recognition and room-mapping capabilities, Aibo will be able to patrol homes and locate various family members, providing reports on where everyone is, and helping owners track down specific people, according to Sony.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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