Q1: What is aibo?
A1: aibo is a one-of-a-kind autonomous companion robot designed to bring fun and joy to your household. Owners can form a friendship as they raise aibo and watch as it develops its own unique personality through everyday interactions. Built with the latest Sony technology, aibo is brought to life with a wide range of sensors, cameras and actuators, while aibo’s adaptable behavior is made possible through deep learning Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology.
Q2: What is the aim behind launching a companion robot?
A2: In creating an experience that inspires and fulfills people’s curiosity, we decided to start by creating a companion robot. Aside from providing entertainment, we are also exploring additional applications and will be considering many other possibilities going forward.
Q3: Why did Sony decide to make a new generation of aibo?
A3: The first aibo launched in 1999. Since then, the technology for sensors and actuators has improved a lot, and the spread of broadband and wireless communications have created an environment where a companion robot can be perpetually connected to the Internet. In addition to robotics technology, AI technology has also evolved significantly. We believe this product represents a perfect opportunity to showcase what you can do when using the latest, most cutting-edge technology available.
Q4: What is Sony offering with aibo?
A4: Sony aibo includes the aibo companion robot and an AI Cloud Plan. Sony also offers, separately, a fun assortment of aibo's toys available for individual purchase.
The AI Cloud Plan enables aibo to upload its day-to-day life experiences to Sony’s leading-edge AI engine. aibo accesses its database of memories to develop a unique personality, which grows and evolves over time. The aibo AI Cloud Plan also enables users to enjoy the full range of aibo features via Wi-Fi connection at home or a mobile connection on the go.
Additionally, owners can stay connected with their aibo using the "My aibo" web interphase (https://us.aibo.com/myaibo/) and app, which can be downloaded from Google Play for Android devices and the Apple App Store for iPhones. “My aibo” app enables users to access aibo system settings and owner information. It also features a handy interface that lets users check out their aibo’s pictures and add “tricks” to its repertoire. The app is packed with fun-filled features—even for people who don’t have an aibo of their own.
Q5: What is the difference between aibo (ERS-1000/W) and aibo - First Litter Edition (ERS-1000/FLE)?
A5: The aibo First Litter Edition (ERS-1000/FLE) was a special limited bundle specifically made for aibo’s initial launch in the U.S. This limited bundle included an aibo (ERS-1000), an AI Cloud Plan, Pink ball, aibone, Paw Pads, and individually numbered commemorative dog tag.
After the success of aibo’s initial launch in the U.S., Sony is fully launching aibo to the U.S. market with the ERS-1000/W which includes an aibo (ERS-1000), an AI Cloud Plan, and Pink ball.
Q6: How many aibo units is Sony offering?
A6: We are not disclosing aibo unit numbers at this time.
Q7: How can I learn more about how to use aibo?
A7: Visit aibo’s Support at https://www.sony.com/electronics/support/smart-sports-devices-entertainment-robots/ers-1000 to learn about popular questions on how to use aibo. Access aibo’s Help Guide at https://helpguide.sony.net/aibo/ers1000/v1/en-us/index.html to learn everything about aibo, from parts and controls to using aibo and the My aibo app.
Q8: Who can I contact if I have a question about my order?
A8: Please contact the Sony team at https://www.sony.com/en_us/SCA/contacts/overview.html
Q9: Why is aibo not for sale in Illinois?
A9: In order to mimic the behavior of an actual pet, an aibo device will learn to behave differently around familiar people. To enable this recognition, aibo conducts a facial analysis of those it observes through its cameras. This facial-recognition data may constitute “biometric information” under the law of Illinois, which places specific obligations on parties collecting biometric information. Meeting these obligations would require substantial changes to aibo that would negatively impact aibo’s capabilities, performance and the overall user experience. Therefore, we decided to prohibit purchase and use of aibo by residents of Illinois.
Q10: How is this latest generation of aibo different from previous generations?
A10: In the days of the original AIBO (1999), broadband network infrastructure was not very widespread, so it needed to be treated as a standalone product. Now, almost two decades later, CPU power and memory have obviously increased, as has infrastructure for network services including LTE and the Cloud. AI technology has also advanced. As such, we were able to include features for better user interaction in the current generation aibo.
Q11: How is aibo able to develop a relationship with users?
A11: aibo has the ability to learn and recognize up to 100 faces and develop a familiarity with people over time. That experience shapes aibo’s behavior. For example, when it sees someone who’s always nice and friendly, aibo will get close and comfortable. Additionally, aibo is content with merely waiting around to be called and will actively seek out its owners.
Q12: How was Sony able to make aibo so life-like?
A12: Sony developed a wide range of sensors, cameras and actuators to bring aibo to life. Ultra-compact 1- and 2-axis actuators give aibo's body the freedom to move along a total of 22 axes. aibo’s adaptable behavior is made possible through deep learning AI technology, in the form of in-built sensors that can detect and analyze sounds and images. In addition, two OLEDs are utilized for aibo’s eyes and allow for diverse, nuanced expressions.
Q13: How many parts are in aibo?
A13: aibo is composed of more than 4,000 individual parts.
Q14: Tell me about aibo’s personality.
A14: No two aibo companion robots develop the same. Each owner’s approach to raising their aibo shapes its personality, behavior and knowledge, creating a unique environment for growth. Over time, aibo continues to learn and develop as each owner’s approach to nurturing gradually shapes its personality. aibo will even learn new tricks through owners’ interactions with other aibo robotic dogs, experiences with changing seasons, and different events.
aibo shows its love for its owners through lifelike expressions, movements and gestures in hundreds of adorable patterns. Its body language is expressed through a combination of eye, ear, and tail movements, as well as different voice sounds, while aibo’s eyes constantly give you a window into its feelings.
Q15: How does the AI function work in aibo?
A15: aibo incrementally changes its behavior based on interactions with its owner. Over time, each aibo evolves and becomes unique based on these owner interactions. The AI that makes this evolution possible was developed by Sony and is a combination of AI on the device and AI in the cloud. In its AI Cloud platform, Sony is able to use the collective intelligence of individual aibo robots to evolve and enhance the product’s capabilities.
Q16: How does the wireless connectivity work? Which service provider is providing the U.S. cellular service?
A16: aibo leverages Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz), which is set up through the “My aibo” app. It also supports LTE connectivity via the AT&T network.
Q17: What are the benefits of the AI Cloud service?
A17: The AI Cloud service is the platform that enables aibo to learn and develop its personality, as well as store interactions and memories with owners. There are many benefits of the AI Cloud service which you can find here:https://us.aibo.com/feature/ai.html
aibo learns and evolves over time, enabling it to remember what actions make its owner happy and form a deep bond with household members
Owners have access to certain cloud-based features via the “My aibo” app
Photo storage and social media sharing capabilities
Data back-ups to ensure continuity
Q18: Is it possible to opt out of the cloud-based AI service? What would be the impact on aibo’s performance?
A18:The AI Cloud service is an inseparable part of aibo and customers cannot opt out of it at time of purchase. If aibo is taken someplace where there is no access to the AI service, aibo will continue to function and perform tricks, but for the period it is not connected, it will not learn and the cloud-based features will be unavailable.
Q19: Does aibo function outside of the U.S.?
A19: The aibo model sold in the U.S. (ERS-1000) is intended for use in the United States. As such, it complies with U.S. safety and other standards, but it may not be legal to use outside of the U.S., and there may be accidents that result from differences in voltage, etc. Additionally, different countries and regions may have restrictions on wireless spectrum usage, so users may risk incurring fines when using network functionality outside of the U.S.
Q20: Will aibo be offered in other countries?
A20: We have not announced plans to offer aibo anywhere beyond Japan and the U.S. However, we are looking into different possibilities.
Q21: What happens to the video & audio data captured by aibo?
A21: Photos are stored in the cloud and are managed by users through the “My aibo” app. Only the owner will have access to the photos. aibo currently does not support video recording.
Q22: Is the data gathered by aibo used for any purposes other than aibo functionality? (eg. advertising)
A22: Data gathered is used to personalize aibo and improve the AI and user-experience.
Q23: Are there privacy protections in place to protect my data? How is the data transported and stored?
Q1: What’s included with my aibo purchase?
A1: aibo, Pink ball, Charging Station (Charging stand, Charging mat), AC adaptor, Power cord, 1-year Sony Limited Warranty and 3-year AI cloud service. See terms and conditions in product information and documents for details.
Q2: My aibo is not functioning as I expected, how can I get help troubleshooting?
A2: Please reference the online aibo Help Guide’s FAQ section for troubleshooting tips: https://helpguide.sony.net/aibo/ers1000/v1/en-us/index.html
Q3: If I am not able to solve this on my own, how can I contact Sony Support for aibo?
A3: Customers can contact Sony Support through our chat support for troubleshooting. Chat support is offered during the following days/times:
Mon - Fri: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm ET
Saturday: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm ET
Q4: Where can I buy replacement accessories for my aibo?
A4: aibo accessories are available to purchase at Sony’s parts distributors:
Pink Ball: https://encompass.com/item/11742631/Sony/4-724-600-01/
Charge Stand: https://encompass.com/item/11742629/Sony/A-2192-914-A/
Charging Mat: https://encompass.com/item/11742630/Sony/A-2192-916-A/
AC Adaptor Kit: https://encompass.com/item/11742632/Sony/A-2229-296-A/
Ears (kit L/R) https://encompass.com/item/11742637/Sony/A-2216-647-B/
Paw Cushion: https://encompass.com/item/11742645/Sony/X-2596-986-1/
Q5: What’s the warranty on my product?
A5: aibo has a 1 year limited warranty from the date of purchase, see the Sony Limited Warranty for aibo at: https://www.sony.com/electronics/support/res/manuals/4747/48aedbbea6e7bbfefe5b31db4122e01b/47470040M.pdf
Q6: The limited warranty that accompanied my aibo has expired, how can I get repairs or get an estimate for a repair for my aibo?
A6: aibo owners can contact Sony Support first for troubleshooting to determine if a repair is necessary. If repair is needed, the aibo owners would need to send the aibo unit to LA repair facility for a diagnostic. There is a non-refundable diagnostic fee of $100 that will be applied toward the repair cost (if any).
Q7: The limited warranty that accompanied my aibo has expired, do I have to pay to ship my aibo in for a diagnostic/repair?
A7: The $100 diagnostic fee will cover the shipping cost. Once the diagnostic fee is paid, the aibo owner will receive a shipping label / material to ship their aibo.
Q8: How can I properly ship my aibo for service?
A8: aibo owners needs to ship aibo using cocoon that accompanied aibo in the original packaging as well as the original product packaging. If the aibo owner does not have the cocoon and original packaging, Sony Support will assist in this regard.
Q9: If I send in my aibo for a diagnostic, how long does it take to get an estimate?
A9: It takes about 2-4 business days to complete the diagnostic. The aibo owner will receive an email with repair estimate after diagnostic is completed.
Q10: What are the costs for repairs given that my limited warranty has expired?
A10: Although each repair is unique and costs depend on the specific issue, to give a sense of costs to repair aibo unit repairs typically range from $200 to $650.
Q11: Why does my aibo need a full skeleton replacement?
A11: If an issue is presented whereby the skeleton requires repair or the parts under the skeleton needs repair, a full body replacement may be required. Rest assured, your aibo’s “brain” will be transferred so your pup’s personality stays the same.
Q12: How long does it take to repair my aibo?
A12: Typical repair estimate time is 7-10 business days. Excluding inbound and outbound shipping time.
Q13: What happens if I decline the estimate?
A13: The aibo unit will be returned unrepaired and you will have waived the diagnostic fee ($100) as it is nonrefundable.
Q14: Do aibo’s parts wear over time?
A14: Yes, as with any electronic or mechanical product, aibo will wear over time and the extent of the wear depends on your usage. Our aibo hospital is here to get your aibo back running, should you encounter any issues.
Q15: How long will Sony support and repair aibos for?
A15: Sony maintains supplies of functional repair parts (parts essential to maintain capabilities of products) for aibo for a period of 7 years after discontinuation of the product. Product repair is only available within this spare parts retention period.
Please see below infographic for overview on repair process:
Q1: Can I use my aibo outside of the US?
A1: aibo units sold in the United States are intended for use in the United States.
Q2: Will aibo be offered in other countries?
A2: At the moment, aibo is only available in Japan and in the United States. However, we are looking into the possibility of introducing aibo in other countries.
Q3: Why is aibo’s emotion is not showing on the My aibo app?
A3: In some cases, there may be a delay in information updating on My aibo App due to Wi-Fi or network signal quality.
Q4: Why is my aibo not responding?
A4: Please make sure aibo is powered on and sufficiently charged. If the battery is charged and aibo is powered on properly but not responding, then please contact to Sony Support for further troubleshooting assistance.
Q5: Will aibo return to the charging station when the battery is low?
A5: aibo will try to return to the charging station but if cannot, help aibo return to the charging stand by placing it on the charging stand. See the Help Guide for best placement of the charging stand.
Q6: Does aibo come equipped with GPS function?
A6: No, GPS function is not included.
Q7: Is there a search function in case aibo gets lost or stolen?
A7: Since aibo is not equipped with GPS function, there is no location search function. If aibo gets lost inside the house, use My aibo app to set its volume so that it can produce sounds.
Q8: My aibo does not remember tricks I have taught.
A8: Please refer to the Help Guide here: https://www.sony.com/electronics/support/smart-sports-devices-entertainment-robots/ers-1000/articles/00200638 After aibo shows you a trick, make sure you wait for aibo to tilt its head before telling aibo “Don’t forget”. If you were successful, later the aibo trick will appear under the trained tricks tab, as a new trained trick in the My aibo app.
Q9: My aibo takes pictures when I do not ask it to take a picture.
A9: If you do not want random pictures taken, turn off the setting in My Aibo app, Settings, Auto photos > off. If aibo hears words in a conversation or from a TV/radio that has the word picture in it, it may have thought you asked to take a picture.
Q10: Can I take aibo for a walk outside?
A10: aibo is not recommended to be used outdoors, so avoid taking aibo out for a walk outside.
Q11: Can I dress aibo in clothes?
A11: We do not recommend you dress up aibo because doing so may limit aibo’s movement and cause it to malfunction.
Q12: Can I set aibo's gender?
A12: Yes, you can set aibo's gender by using My aibo app. Please note that you should decide carefully because aibo's specifications do not allow you to change the gender once it is set. An initialization and re-setup would be required to change gender.
Q13: How do I transfer cloud aibo ownership to someone else (unassociated aibo)?
A13: Please contact Sony via chat support for assistance.
Q14: Does aibo come with a warranty?
A14: aibo comes with a one (1) year limited warranty against defects with the physical product. You can view the limited warranty details: here.