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Sony gives Aibo the robotic pup a new lease on life

Could the home robot help Sony nip at the heels of Amazon and Google?

Aibo is back!

Eleven years after Sony put the adorable robotic dog Aibo to sleep, everyone's favorite electronic pooch is back.

Aibo will return by the middle of 2018 as a household robot equipped with AI and internet connectivity, according a report in Nikkei Asian Review on Sunday. The mobile robot will be designed to control household appliances via voice control as part of Sony's attempt to go up against giants like Amazon and Google, which already boast their own stationary smart home hubs.

With AI now at a more advanced level and with smart home appliances and hubs growing in popularity, there's likely a role for Aibo to play in the hearts and homes of consumers. It's a different time from 2006, when the robot was killed off for not being an essential part of Sony's business.

So sure were we at CNET back then that we'd seen the last of Aibo, we even wrote the pup an obituary. Even with its £2,000 price tag and limited abilities before the recent surge in AI capabilities, Aibo was popular among robotics fans and sold out within 20 minutes of going on sale in Japan.

Sony could not immediately be reached for comment.