Sony has announced the birth of an all-new AIBO at CES. The reception has been unsurprisingly ecstatic, especially as the original model, introduced back in 1999, was discontinued in 2006 to much disappointment and then, even worse, unsupported from 2015 (the sub-head on that WSJ article reads, pitifully, ‘Masters Run in Circles Seeking Help for Aged Robotic Pets; Failing Joints’. There were reports of Aibo funerals and there is still a functioning AIBO hospital that cannibalises dead dogs for their useful bits. In AIBO’s absence, the robot dog became a bit more toy-like, and the influence on robot design has also leaned a bit closer to Pixar than the retro style of the original AIBO. Luckily Sony’s designers are taking no tips from Boston Dynamics. Perhaps tomorrow’s full range of robot dogs will run a similar gamut to flesh and blood ones, from pocket-sized to intentionally terrifying. Some of our thoughts on robots from 15 years ago / a few other things. Folded metal things from Another Studio / an animated Chris Ware New Yorker cover from 2015.

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