Sony is set to release a robot dog designed to live in your house and control your electronics, a new report says.
The device could also learn new tricks and respond to your commands, like a real pet dog.
It sounds a lot like a modernised version of AIBO, a robot dog Sony first started selling in 1999.
Sony’s new robot dog will go on sale in spring 2018, according to the Wall Street Journal, but will be unveiled at a launch event next month.
According to people familiar with the company’s plans, it will be internet-connected and feature new components designed to make its movements more lifelike and enable it to respond to people much faster than the old version.
Its headline feature, however, will be the ability to control smart appliances and other electronics around your home, such as washing machines, lights and thermostats.
In this regard, it could go head to head with voice assistants like the Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Like Amazon Alexa, you’ll be able to add third-party developed skills to the robot dog, according to a report from the Nikkei earlier this month.
Comments made by Sony chief executive Kazuo Hirai last year suggest the company also wants it to be “capable of forming an emotional bond with customers, and able to grow to inspire love and affection”, the Wall Street Journal adds.
AIBO, which was killed off in 2006, was also capable of greeting its user, singing songs and dancing. It isn’t yet clear if the AIBO brand name will be resurrected when the new dog comes out.