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The robot AI dog that will keep an eye on children and the elderly

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 23/01/2019 Telegraph Reporters

Sony's puppy-sized robot dog 'aibo' is displayed during a press conference at the company's headquarters in Tokyo on January 23, 2019. - Aibo, equipped with cameras, artificial intelligence and internet capability, can now remotely check up on family members, children or even pets, the Japanese electronics giant said on January 23. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)

Sony's puppy-sized robot dog 'aibo' is displayed during a press conference at the company's headquarters in Tokyo on January 23, 2019. - Aibo, equipped with cameras, artificial intelligence and internet capability, can now remotely check up on family members, children or even pets, the Japanese electronics giant said on January 23. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP) (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)

Sony's puppy-sized robot dog aibo, equipped with cameras, artificial intelligence and internet capability, can now remotely check up on family members, children or even pets.

The 30-centimetre (one-foot) robopup with flapping ears and cutting-edge LED eyes will roam around the home at pre-designated times looking for family members.

However, the latest canine tech does not come cheap, with a single dog costing nearly $3,000 (£1,500) for a three-year package, including software services such as data storage.

The new edition Sony Aibo robot dog incorporates a series of sensors, cameras, and actuators to activate the pup and keep it interactive, as seen inside the Sony display area at CES International, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) © ASSOCIATED PRESS The new edition Sony Aibo robot dog incorporates a series of sensors, cameras, and actuators to activate the pup and keep it interactive, as seen inside the Sony display area at CES International, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) The owner will receive progress reports via smartphone in the service offered from next month in conjunction with home security company Secom.

"You will be able to check how remote family members are doing or what children are doing when they get home," project chief Izumi Kawanishi told reporters at the Sony headquarters in Tokyo.

"We aim to make you feel a bit more secure by living with aibo and having fun," added Kawanishi.

Versions of Sony's puppy-sized robot dog 'Aibo', including a 2019 limited special colour model (R), are displayed during a press conference at the company's headquarters in Tokyo on January 23, 2019. - Aibo, equipped with cameras, artificial intelligence and internet capability, can now remotely check up on family members, children or even pets, the Japanese electronics giant said on January 23. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images) Versions of Sony's puppy-sized robot dog 'Aibo', including a 2019 limited special colour model (R), are displayed during a press conference at the company's headquarters in Tokyo on January 23, 2019. - Aibo, equipped with cameras, artificial intelligence and internet capability, can now remotely check up on family members, children or even pets, the Japanese electronics giant said on January 23. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP) (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images) The gadget will also be able to watch over real pets in the future thanks to image recognition and learning capabilities, he said.

The latest aibo model, which can also display "emotions", was released in January last year and sales hit 20,000 in the first six months, according to Sony.

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In the era of the Internet of Things and facing a rapidly ageing population, Japan has mobilised rice cookers, electric pots and other household devices to keep watch on elderly people living alone.

They transmit data to families living far away on how often they have been used. If they have not been used for a while, this could be an ominous sign.

Head of Sony's AI Robotics Business Group, Izumi Kawanishi, displays the 2019 limited special colour model of the company's puppy-sized robot dog 'Aibo' during a press conference at the company's headquarters in Tokyo on January 23, 2019. - Sony will offer a 'policing' service by its puppy-size robot dog to make sure family members are safe at home while you are away. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images) Head of Sony's AI Robotics Business Group, Izumi Kawanishi, displays the 2019 limited special colour model of the company's puppy-sized robot dog 'Aibo' during a press conference at the company's headquarters in Tokyo on January 23, 2019. - Sony will offer a 'policing' service by its puppy-size robot dog to make sure family members are safe at home while you are away. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP) (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images) Robot "pets" that look after the elderly were among the hit products at CES, the world's biggest technology fair in Las Vegas earlier this year. 

Japanese manufacturer Groove X says its robot Lovot, which comes complete with cartoon eyes and fuzzy teddy bear arms, has been built to “nurture people’s capacity to love” by demanding the affection of its owner. 

Packed with sensors to respond to human touch, when Lovot wants to be cuddled, it waves its arms in the air, and will trail around adoringly behind its owner on wheels.  It will even ‘fall asleep’ in their arms if offered a cuddle.

Gallery: How tech has changed over the past decade [Pocket-Lint]

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