If you’ve spent the last six years trying to hunt down a discontinued Aibo, we have good news. Japanese toy maker Takara Tomy is showing off a 4 x 6-inch, ¥31,500 (about $400) robot dog that looks to pick up right where Sony's left off. The robot, named Omnibot I-SODOG, can dance to music (video below), respond to more than 50 voice commands, and eat "food" that you feed it from your smartphone or tablet screen (video below). The tricks don’t stop there, as the miniature robot also has "guard dog" functions: if you place it on top of your diary, for example, it’ll bark if anyone tries to move the book.
You can bring the dog to work — inside your phone
There’s also a Tamagotchi-like parenting component to the robot, so you can transfer his or her info to your mobile device and bring your pet with you for the day. Any changes in the dog's personality established over the day will be transferred back when you get home. And if you touch two I-SODOGs at the same time they’ll even exchange information with one another. Speaking to Gigazine, a Takara Tomy rep said, "we made it with the strong intention that we weren’t making a robot toy; no matter what we were making a real robot." If you’re hoping to get one for Christmas this year, however, we have some bad news — the company won’t be bringing I-SODOG to market until Spring of 2013.