Dasatech’s Genibo (Genius Robot) is one of a handful of Aibo knock-offs, but after seeing some footage of it in action from the recent Robot World expo held in Seoul, I felt it warranted closer inspection. In all the Genibo has 17 loud servo motors which bring it to life, stands about 30cm (12 inches) tall and weighs 1.5kg (3.3 lbs). It lasts close to 2 hours on a single charge. It’s also quite loud compared to an Aibo.
Like the Aibo, Genibo has a camera in its nose which can send photos to your cellphone or computer, touch sensors in its head and back that enable it to respond when you pet him, and tilt sensors so it knows if it has fallen on its side or back. It has speech recognition capable of understanding 100 commands (Korean only), and it can repeat simple phrases that it has learned such as phone numbers or your schedule.
Though it is a bit jerky, Genibo can walk, sit, roll over, wag its tail, pretend to mark its territory, and dance. It has LEDs for eyes that produce a variety of expressions, and it can interact with other Genibos that may be around (by barking). It’s not quite as autonomous as an Aibo; while it does have some built-in obstacle avoidance for navigation, it is programmed to enter sleep mode if left alone for 5 minutes.
For about $1000 (less than half the price of an Aibo), it comes with a ball, battery, adapter, remote control, and dice. The recharger cradle functions like that of the Aibo’s by activating when the dog sits on it. Clearly priced out of the toy market, the Genibo is not for everyone, but considering SONY has discontinued the Aibo, if you want a robot dog he’s the leader of the pack.
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