SEOUL, South Korea – Roll over, Aibo, there's a new robot dog in town.
A South Korean company is stepping into to the gap left by Sony's decision to end production of its mechanized canine Aibo with a new robot hound that can recognize spoken commands and act as a watchdog with a camera built into its snout.
DasaTech, based in Bucheon in eastern Seoul, said it plans to put its robot — named the "Genibo" for "genius robot" — on the market next year for an as-yet-unspecified price, according to company official Cho Soo-hyun.
The Genibo, which stands a foot tall and weighs 3.3 pounds, understands 100 commands, including "sit," "roll over" and "wag tail." The company says it can navigate around obstacles by itself.
Japan's Sony Corp. (SNE) said earlier this year it was killing off the Aibo robot project to cut costs.
It had sold some 150,000 Aibos since they debuted in 1999 and sparked a strong following among fans — some of whom owned whole packs of the machines, which retailed for about $2,000 apiece.
Aibo also could recognize voices and the face of its owner.