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AIBO replacement

A robot dog, better than he was before....
  [vote for,

I'm so sad after having just read that the AIBO will no longer be developed, that I'm getting Dr. Frankenstein-like urges to recreate the little fella.

Hmmm, Son of AIBO... I'll call him Son. No, wait, that's not cute enough. Sonny?.... nope, taken by another famous 'bot. I know, I'll call him Sony! That has a nice easy sound, and speakers of most languages should be able to pronounce it. Sony the robot dog it is! Well, until I can think of a better name.

I propose a replacement for the AIBO, but with a twist: remove his brain. A robot dog that is all rugged robot, with a really nice WiFi connection, connecting him to some massively powerful computer. This would enable him to have powers far beyond those of his recently deceased brethren, and if running his software on a pocket PC in the park, one could play a fun game of 'fetch the brain' (maybe Igor would also be a good name).

Why bring all that computing power on-board, when we now live in the age of wireless? It was understandable back when my Pentium-166 (with MMX I might add) ruled, but not these days.

Give me a methanol and lithium powered beast, capable of terrifying my mother's toy poodle. One that can 'watch' the local video stream with his spider-like camera array, just as easily as he can see video-feed from a web-cam in another country. I'll take him on holiday, and he'll still bark to let me know someone is lurking in the shadows around my home.

The biggest plus for a creature like this would be the fun, and learning, that would arise from hacking it. Just look at what students around the world do with the AIBO today.

TIB, Jan 27 2006

Deer Aibo DeerAibo
[theircompetitor, Jan 27 2006]


       So you've taken a dog, and removed its brain - haven't you just created a Labrador?
spinglespangle, Jan 27 2006

       //So you've taken a dog, and removed its brain - haven't you just created a Labrador// Just about any vet will tell you that would be an Irish Setter.

//maybe Egor // sp. "Igor".

"We had a lot of fun
We had a lot of money
We had a little son and we thought we'd call him Sony"
coprocephalous, Jan 27 2006

       Because it's Sony, the "massively powerful computer" should be the PlayStation 3 - a very, very powerful bit of kit.
hippo, Jan 27 2006

       //running his software on a pocket PC// I reckon you could fit the guts of a pocket PC into a robot dog. Then you'd have a robot dog, with a brain.   

       I like [hippo]'s proposal of linking it to the Playstation. Opportunities for games there, I feel.   

       Personally, I think this is just an AIBO with a wireless connection. It would be pointless to completely remove the brain as it's much easier to do all the dumb motor/balance control stuff on board.   

       Not enough of an idea to merit a bun from me, sorry.
moomintroll, Jan 27 2006

       The point is to remove all the computing power outside the robot (including the rapid-fire computing that balance and movement requires). This would lower the cost of the unit, increase its computing power drastically, and lower power consumption - allowing much more power to go towards mobility relative to computing. I'd like to see the absolute minimum in on board electronics: just mechanical components, a power source, and a simplistic 'nervous system' connected to the wi-fi interface. The idea is to provide a shell for the open-source community to hack. With great hardware, that the average geek can afford, just imagine what could be done.
TIB, Jan 27 2006

       But then you'd end up using vast amounts of bandwidth on motor control, just to stop the thing falling over!
moomintroll, Jan 27 2006

       I will lurk nearby, and when little Sony comes in range, I will beckon him with my own wireless seductions. He will forget all about you... he will be mine.
bungston, Jan 27 2006

       That's a good point [bungston]. I suppose if there were a million of these Sony creatures out there, and a computer virus that targeted them on a particular date was release - well, it'd be fun to watch. The hardware would definitely have to be designed such that it could not destroy itself given the incorrect commands (like two motors working in opposition at 10 times their rated power use).   

       [moomintroll] I agree with you. A huge amount of bandwidth would be used to just stand there. That is, until the software is developed (or is designed to learn) to minimize bandwidth usage. Not that that will be an issue in the era of 802.11n, but it should be a scientific goal nonetheless.   

       I've flown radio control helicopters for some time, and as such understand why you'd reason that the act of balancing would eat up most of the resources. What I've found, teaching others, is that the minuscule reactions required to hover become subconscious rather rapidly.   

       The 'Brain' (Playstation 3 for example), would have a model of Sony in memory that lags behind real-time ever so slightly, and compensate for this lag just like you and I do, with some sort of predictivebehavior pattern - what we see, hear, and feel, is not quite real-time. Squeezing the reaction time to a minimum would allow Sony to run ever faster. As for just standing there or even walking slowly (like my beloved, primitive AIBO): four legs makes that simple - just keep three on the ground at any time.   

       Besides... in 10 years, our computing power will be 1024 times greater than today, and plunking a tiny chip for a brain (chip for brains) in Sony will give him that real-time proximity you'd like to see. The hardware will most likely be pretty much the same, apart from the power source, but cost even more...
TIB, Jan 27 2006

       Sorry, Igor has been my computer's name in it's various froms since 1982.
Giblet, Jan 28 2006

       OK I'll admit I would like my iMac to follow me around like a dog. If I could use my computer at any time without having to lug it about, yeah. That would be excellent.   

       iDoggie, get the iStick, that's right...recognize the peripheral...that's a good boy.
Eugene, Jan 29 2006


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