Almost 25 years ago, Sony’s robot dog Aibo became a worldwide sensation - and this year a new robot dog aims to bring a spark of individuality to the idea.
Unveiled at the annual Las Vegas technology show CES (Consumer Electronics Show), Dog-E is designed to grow a personality unique to its owner.
Designed by robot toy maker WowWee, the $80 Dog-E is controlled by an app - and the pup develops its own personality via what WowWee describes as the ‘minting’ process.
The ‘minting’ process is triggered by interactions with the pet, such as patting it on the head.
This means that each dog has its own personality - some might love resting, others will always be hungry, some will be shy and some will be ‘feisty’.
The annual technology show also saw a growing trend for ‘pet tech’ - in the form of AI bird feeder Bird Buddy which identifies birds which come to feed, and a fitness tracker for dogs from French start-up Invoxia.
Dog-E has life-like movements, audio sensors to hear sounds, touch sensors on its head, nose and sides of its body, and a POV (persistence of vision) tail that displays icons and messages to communicate.
Sydney Wiseman, VP of Brand Development & Creative Strategy at WowWee said, “We are excited to announce the launch of MINTiD Dog-E, as we combine cool, cutting-edge tech with social relevance, revolutionising the toy category for robots once again
“With Dog-E, we are reimagining robot dogs, thinking about the joy that a kid — or kidult!, will feel when one is ‘MINTiD’ just for them!”
The Dog-E companion app allows multiple members of a family to mint and save their own individual profiles in a single Dog-E, and seamlessly switch between each person using the app.
There are up to a million possible variations within each Dog-E.
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Users can train Dog-E to learn their name, program movements, and teach it tricks like giving kisses, singing, and responding to claps.
Robot dogs have been a staple of the toy market since 1999, when Sony launched its pioneering Aibo robot.
Launching on a wave of worldwide hype, the initial batch of 3,000 sold out in just 20 minutes, despite being priced at $2,000 each.
Watch; The cool and strange gadgets of CES 2023