TOKYO -- Japan's Sony intends to get into the companion business. Companion robots, that is. President Kazuo Hirai on Wednesday told reporters that a new division is already working on robots that can connect emotionally to humans.
The old Japanese icon once known for its Trinitron TVs and Walkman personal stereos said it will leverage its stake in Cogitai, a U.S. startup specializing in artificial intelligence, for this futuristic project. Sony obtained the stake in May.
Sony launched its AI robotics division a month earlier and expects it to become the core of its robotics operations.
Hirai said Sony will commercialize a companion robot "when appropriate." The company also expects to expand into other branches of robotics and AI, including in the manufacturing and logistics spaces.
Sony got out of the robot business in 2006, when it stopped producing the doglike Aibo.