Man’s best friend is getting a makeover.
Sony will roll out a new robot dog that’s capable of real Fido-like feelings – including bonding with its human masters and responding to owner commands, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The pet bot will be similar to Sony’s AIBO robot pet prototypes, which have been discontinued, and will have updated software to allow users to control their home appliances.
Sony plans to unveil the product at a media event next November and roll it out in spring 2018. It’s unclear how much it will cost.
Last year, Sony Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai said at a strategy briefing that the company was in the process of developing “a robot capable of forming an emotional bond with customers and able to grow to inspire love and affection.”
Sony sold about 150,000 AIBOs between 1999 and 2006 for between $600 and more than $2,000, the Journal said. The robots came with artificial intelligence allowing them to greet its owner, play with a ball, dance and sing songs.
The new pet robots will have smoother movements and improved motors and sensors. They may also include internet connectivity allowing the pooch to learn new tricks and control appliances.
This story originally appeared in the New York Post.