Thursday, October 28, 2004

AIBO or organic?

Before we get started, we should say that we have high hopes for the future of organic dog ownership. Come on, AIBOs have WiFi, a camera and can be programmed to do a wide variety of tasks, and speak in many voices and languages. There’s no reason (besides nature, of course) that our organic dogs shouldn’t at least stay competitive with their robot counterparts.

Check out the how-to on upgrading your organic dog.

Aibo are one of several types of robotic dogs designed and manufactured by Sony; there have been several different kinds of Aibo since their introduction in 1999. Able to walk, "see", and recognize spoken commands, they are considered to be autonomous robots, since they are able to learn and mature based on external stimuli from their owner or environment, or from other Aibos.

Many Aibo owners enjoy teaching their pets new behaviors by reprogramming them (in Sony's special 'R-Code' language). However, in October of 2001, Sony sent a cease-and-desist notice to the webmaster of, demanding that he stop distributing code that was retrieved by bypassing the copy-protection mechanisms of the robot. Eventually, in the face of many outraged Aibo owners, Sony released a programmer's kit for 'non-commercial' use.