Sony is treating its $2,900 robot dog to a new toy -- a pair of dice for it to play with.
This $40 accessory is now available for purchase in the US. The Aidice is the latest addition to Sony's line of accessories for Aibo. It's also got the Aibone to play with -- a pink toy bone -- and its signature pink toy ball, both of which are included with purchase.
Aibo is able to hold, roll, throw, and stack the dice (that's if it feels like it) and according to Sony, as time goes on it may even figure out new ways to play with them. We've seen it do some of that on YouTube, as users in Japan have been able to purchase the dice for some time now and have been posting videos of their pup rolling and stacking them.
The toy adds variety to the things Aibo is able to do. And it's come a long way since Sony first introduced an earlier version of the robot dog to the public in 1999. The current version couples a range of sensors, cameras and actuators with Sony's deep learning AI technology -- that's how Aibo is able to recognize objects (like its toys), people and surroundings.
Adding a new toy to its repertoire will, presumably, work to enrich its personality in the same way everyday interactions work to inform its "identity." It's much like what you'd expect with a real dog but without all of the hair, drool and some (most?) of the charm. Disclaimer here: we've had an Aibo in the CNET office for a few weeks now and it's actually pretty adorable. Not quite real-dog-lovable, but definitely lovable.
Unlike a real dog though, this robo-pup will never get too old to learn new tricks. Between software updates and new toys, Aibo is growing up before our very eyes. I wouldn't be surprised to see Sony roll out an entire collection of accessories for Aibo to play with in the future.