By Jonathan Charles | Jun 16, 2012 02:16 PM EDT
Japanese toymaker Takara Tomy has revealed a 4x6-inch, ¥31,500/$400, robot dog called I-SODOG weighing 400 grams (0.8lbs) and is "considerably smaller" than Sony's now-dead AIBO. More than a toy, the dog can dance to music and even act as your personal bodyguard - putting the dog on your diary will cause it to bark when others try to read the contents.
It can also respond to more than 50 voice commands, and eat "food" from your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. Along with the functions there's a Tamagotchi-esque device that transfers the dog's information to the mobile device and back again when getting home, along with punishing bad behavior and rewarding it with digital treats which will create different "personalities" over time. The Tamagotchi allows digital animals to be bred and grown over time in a similar manner.
A custom app, on an iPhone in the video (there's no word on other supported platforms), causes the dog to perform tricks such as shaking a paw, dancing to downloaded songs or moving "intuitively" when tilting the phone.
The I-SODOG fits in the palm of your hand, and has 15 servo motors to produce realistic movements. Videos of the dog dancing show joints moving independently.
Touching two I-SODOGs together will cause them to exchange information, if bought together according to Plastic Pals, similar to Bump for Android and iOS which shares contact information when tapping devices together. "[W]e made it with the strong intention that we weren't making a robot toy; no matter what we were making a real robot," a Takara Tomy representative said to Gigazine.
The robot comes with touch sensors, microphones and a 3D accelerometer so it doesn't fall over. It also includes a voice mail system and alarm clock. The dog can be controlled via a remote if a smartphone isn't available and will last for 1-2 hours according to Takara Tomy. In 2007 the company released the I-SOBOT, which revived the brand that was popular in the 1980s.
The I-SODOG releases Spring 2013. Check out the video below:
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