Allergic to animal hair but want a pet? Well, Sony has just come up with the solution, albeit a reboot of its 20-year-old iconic but a rather cumbersome Robot Dog, Aibo.

Much has changed since the launch of the first Aibo. Today’s robot dog can now do a lot more than simply bark and, well, move awkwardly like a robot. Aibo can now move gracefully, and even has eyes, ears and the artificial intelligence of a real-life canine.

Launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Sony is hoping the all-new Aibo will help them make up ground in robotics and AI lost to giants Amazon and Google.

Although unlike Alexa, Aibo can’t yet order your shopping or play you your favorite tune.

A loving, emotional pet

Yet Aibo might be able to reach places that other technology solutions can’t reach. With an increase in loneliness linked to the social dislocation inherent in much technology and social media, Aibo could become the piece of hardware that makes you feel loved again. Aibo might, in time, take your mind off that brooding anxiety that you’re missing out on what your friends are boasting about on Facebook.

The claims have yet to be tested, buy Sony executives are going for the soft sell. Aibo, they say, “can form an emotional bond with members of the household while providing them with love, affection, and the joy of nurturing and raising a companion.”

It's official, no pooper scoops

And, yes, unlike real dog owners, you aren’t going to have to get down and dirty with the pooper scooper – the main reason why many people resist getting themselves a dog.

High tech doggy

Aibo took 100 engineers to make and is packed with thousands of components and gadgetry to allow it to understand simple voice commands and bond with its human owners. Launched initially in Japan at a cost of $1,770, Sony has plowed enough high-level technology into Aibo that it will remember behaviors that its owners reward.

It will love its new parents

It will also recognize its "human parents," just like a normal dog. However, unlike a normal do, it’s unlikely to pine for attention when you leave it outside a shop or at home alone. With only two hours battery life (it takes three hours to charge), Aibo is more likely to sleep like a cat than have the boundless energy of your favorite four-legged friend.

A bit too clever for its own good

Aibo will keep on improving its intelligence. It has deep learning technology imbedded and shares data in the cloud with other Aibo units. In other words, it hasn’t simply got one brain, but shares a collective consciousness with all the other Aibo’s in the cloud. Aibo also comes with an app, My Aibo, which can be used to view photos taken by the dog’s on-board camera, alter settings and downloading new software.

A doggy without a bone

If you don’t want a doggy without a bone, Sony has thoughtfully provided a bone accessory called Aibone.