Sony has revived its Aibo pet robot range, more than 10 years after the bionic dog was given theOld Yeller treatment.
The new model comes with OLED display eyes to convey expression, 22 body axes for fluid movement and fish-eye cameras to see and recognise faces.
But the biggest change for the 2017 model is a new (and required) subscription service that allows users to back-up their Aibo to the cloud, connect to the "My Aibo" app and receive regular software updates for their pet. A future feature will let owners transfer the Aibo's cloud back-up to a new model.
The robo-pet is only available for pre-order in Japan as of 1 November and will ship in January 2018. Aibo retails for 198,000 yen (£1,300) and the subscription will be a one off cost of 90,000 yen for three years. Buyers can also pay monthly for three years at 2,980 yen per month. Committed owners can even purchase support care for 54,000 yen for three years, or 20,000 yen (£132) for one year, which gives them 50% discount on repairs. And finally, the optional accessory "aibone", which Aibo can fetch, can be added for 2,980 yen .
This means owners looking to get the full Aibo package will be paying some £2,275 pounds up front.
Sony is touting the combination of tech packed into the pet can help the Aibo learn what makes its owner happy after receiving voice commands and through petting. "Slowly but surely, Aibo will also become more aware of its environment," Sony has said. "As it gains confidence it will learn to walk around an increasingly wider area and respond to situations accordingly". It described the Aibone as an accessory that "spices up your life with Aibo".
Aibo also includes pressure and capacitive sensors, LTE and WiFi connection and a motion sensor. It weighs about 2.2kg. Battery life could become an issue, however, with Aibo only lasting two hours before requiring a three-hour charge.
Sony has not revealed if Aibo will become available outside of Japan.