Photo/IllutrationSony Corp. President and CEO Kazuo Hirai announces its new robot pet aibo in Tokyo’s Minato Ward on Nov. 1. (Makiko Ikenaga)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

They say every dog has its day, and the Aibo robot dog’s time drew to a close over a decade ago. But now, the Sony Corp. creation has bounced back.

Sony on Nov. 1 unveiled the new aibo at a news conference, revealing details including artificial intelligence capabilities that make it nestle up to its owners and give it a distinctive bark.

“A new aibo is born,” Sony President and CEO Kazuo Hirai said at the event.

“Users can develop an emotional connection with aibo,” Hirai continued. “The aibo is a robot that gives users joy to raise. It’s a robot that can become an object of someone’s love, and we would like owners to gather the threads of a treasured story with aibo.”

The aibo is expected to go on sale at Sony’s online store on Jan. 11 for 198,000 yen ($1,750), excluding tax.

The company will start accepting orders from 11.01 p.m. on Nov. 1.

The original Aibo that hit the market in 1999 was the world’s first robotic pet dog aimed at families.

Despite its high price tag of 250,000 yen, the initial limited run of 3,000 units sold out in 20 minutes.

The blockbuster robo-dog sold a total of 150,000 units until 2006, when Sony stopped producing it.

Hirai announced the development of the new robot dog in June 2016.