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Report: Sony prepares to relaunch its robotics business with new dog robot

Japanese consumer electronics company Sony Corp. plans to return to the robotics business with a new robot resembling a dog, the Nikkei Asian Review reported Oct. 8.

Sony will launch the robot in the spring of 2018, marking the company's return to the field after a 12-year hiatus, according to the report.

The company commercially launched a robotic pet dog named Aibo in 1999 but discontinued the program in 2006 when Sony's then-CEO Howard Stringer deemed it a noncore business, the report said. The Japanese newspaper reported that Sony is calling on employees who were involved in the Aibo project to work on this new robot dog it is preparing to launch.

Sony's new robotic pet will control home appliances via voice commands and feature internet connectivity. It will also frolick like a real dog and mimic other canine behavior, the Nikkei reported. Sony plans to make the dog's operating system an open platform so outside developers can add features.