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Woof

Sony's Aibo robotic dog is back — and ridiculously expensive

Man's best friend just got an upgrade. Sony announced Wednesday that it is bringing back its beloved robo-pooch, Aibo, which was discontinued in 2006, The Japan Times reports. "Today I am pleased to introduce an entertainment robot we have been developing for the past year and a half that's worthy of love and is a delight to nurture through emotional connections with people," said Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai.

Of course, technology has come a long way since Aibo first went on the market in 1999, and in the meantime, Sony's been working like a dog. The new Aibo model, which will be out in January, "uses ultra-compact actuators that allow its body to move along 22 axes, and its eyes use two OLED panels to show a range of expressions," The Verge writes. And being a not-so-old dog, it can even learn new tricks: Aibo connects to the Cloud to better "learn" how to interact with people based on the experiences of other units.

At least initially, Aibo will only be available in Japan, where it costs the equivalent of $1,700. Users will also be required to pay for a minimum three-year subscription service to keep the dog up to date; that will run about $26 a month.

Meanwhile, adoption fees for real dogs at the Humane Society start at $50.