Photo/IllutrationYoung owners play with new Aibo robot dogs in Tokyo on Jan. 11. (Makiko Ikenaga)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

Sony Corp.’s new Aibo was unleashed on Jan. 11, when the first eager owners of the rebooted robot dog were united with their pre-ordered “pets.”

The much-loved electronic pup has been redesigned with built-in artificial intelligence, which enables it to learn and get to know people by accumulating facial data through a camera mounted on its nose.

It ranks humans who play with it and displays different levels of affection toward them according to their ranking.

The first Aibo model, released in 1999, became a hit, but production was stopped in 2006 as part of Sony’s restructuring measures.

The new Aibo, now available only in Japan, is priced at 198,000 yen ($1,770). For more information, visit the website at (