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Aibo: Frequently Asked Questions


What are the differences between Mind, Mind2 and Mind3?

Mind was the original personality software provided with the ERS7 on its release in September 2003. It provided the ERS7 with the ability to Self Dock to the provided Station when the internal Battery was low on power. As with its successors, the Mind software provided communication with the AIBO over a wireless network connection allowing users the ability to email requests to the AIBO and receive a JPEG photograph from the Aibo Eyes? feature.

Mind2 was a huge improvement over the original Mind personality offering more variety in the behavior of the AIBO. The Station Marker was also changed for a black and white checked design commonly referred to as a "Barcode" type marker. A Mind2/Mind3 AIBO cannot use the original coloured marker for Self Docking purposes and any such mat would need to be substituted for the new design. Mind2 also saw the introduction of the Aibo Entertainment Player? allowing remote control of the AIBO using a suitably connected PC. Wireless streaming of MP3's and internet radio stations through the AIBO's speaker was also possible through this software although a glitch in the radio software prevented the playback of some stations.

Mind3 was the final implementation of the Mind series after the Sony announcement of the discontinuation of AIBO development in its Q3 FY2005 earnings announcement made public spring 2006. Mind3's biggest improvement over its predecessors was the ability for the AIBO to speak rather than produce tones. Although the option to use tones is provided many uses still prefer the sounds produced by Mind2. A mapping and localization feature was also implemented in this release allowing the AIBO to remember the location of its Ball, AiBone, Station and any human faces it may encounter. Memory of the object's location was held for approximately 5 minutes from the time of the encounter. While this was may appear to be only a short period for the AIBO to remember its location, it was a significant breakthrough for consumer robotics. The Aibo Entertainment Player also received a few updates including the ability for the AIBO to produce a diary and upload the information to a suitably configured online Blog. The internet radio glitch present in the previous version was also fixed in this release.

Are there any known problems with any of the Aibo models?

The ERS110? model legs were subject to recall by Sony. This was due to mechanical failure. An ERS110? that has not had the legs replaced could possibly develop leg troubles.

The original ERS210? models suffered from a clutch failure in the neck and head mechanisms requiring repair or replacement of the affected part. In the neck, this is referred to as Droopy Head Syndrome?, or DHS?. There is also Pan Axis Syndrome?, or PAS? affecting the Servo? that rotates the head left and right. The head tilt and even the jaw motors are also of the same type and subject to this issue, but it is much less frequent in them. Repair is commonly carried out by "pinning" the affected clutch body. Sony rectified the issue with its introduction of the ERS210A? model which featured a stronger clutch mechanism of a different design. There may however be some original ERS210? models in circulation with the updated clutch.

When the ERS7 was originally released in 2003 it became apparent that there could be some issues with the leg mechanisms, as well as a Battery charging problem. Sony took the step of offering a free "Health Check" for the affected models in order to replace any affected components.

All AIBO models can be affected by dirty or oxidized Potentiometers? which are located at each Degree of Freedom. This can sometimes be remedied on an unpowered AIBO by physically rotating the limb fully on its affected axis. How long this is done for depends on the severity of the problem. This is euphemistically referred to as “Physical Therapy”. If this does not work, it is possible to clean the Potentiometer?. Pot Cleaning Guide ERS-31x

The ERS7 has also been known to have noisy leg joints caused by dirt contamination of the Servo? gear mechanism. The only way of solving the issue is removal of the affected gears from the leg in order to clean each gear. Servo Gear Cleaning Guide ERS-7

What support are Sony committed to and can I still get my AIBO repaired?

Sony announced a support structure outlining an intention to provide assistance for each model for 7 years from date of discontinuation. The Sony AIBO Clinic's are accepting AIBOs for repair supposedly for the duration of the promised support period. Other than the Clinic, most repairs will fall to the responsibility of the community and indeed the owners themselves. Aibohospital is one of the better known resources for community based AIBO repairs

What parts are readily available?

Parts availability is generally poor with the majority of parts being retained by the Sony Clinics as shop parts. Some items are available from Sony Clinics directly but as of January 2007 this supply source appears to have dried up. In the United States, parts are still available through Sony's Direct Accessories & Parts Center DAPC. However, they have removed most of the part number lists. Fortunately some very good lists of part numbers are still available in the AIBO Tech section of Aibo Kennel.

Where can I buy an AIBO and what should I look for when purchasing used?

Since the discontinuation of AIBO production early 2006, new AIBOs are generally not available, although there have been reports of new examples being found at UK Sony Centres and other electrical retailers. The more common locations for finding a used AIBO are within the community or on an online auction site such as Ebay. Unfortunately the auction sites appear to be rife with scams, so its very important to be 100% sure of what you are buying and who you are buying from. It is important to make sure that any original Mind ERS7 has had the health check. This will be evident by the ability of the seller to provide a Sony Health Check certificate.

What is a PMS

PMS is an acronym of Programmable Memory Stick. Both 8mb and 16mb PMS sticks were made by Sony are were pink in color. The PMS is specially encoded to be a PMS, so as a result you cannot use just any pink AIBO Memory Stick as a PMS . You can use the PMS to download 3rd party personalities from Aibohack, write R-Code, movements and actions using Skitter & produce personalities with the aid of YART or URBI?. Make sure to use a Sony Memory Stick Reader when using a PMS (or any pink or blue AIBO Memory Stick) as use of another brand has been proven to increase the risk of corruption.

What is Custom Data? and how is it installed?

Custom Data? adds functionality to an AIBO's personality usually in the form of alternative dances, sounds or games. Released for the ERS7 Mind series of personalities, Custom Data? is installed onto the AIBOs Memory Stick using the Custom Manager

I can't connect to my AIBO through the network, what am I doing wrong?

Because of the differences between individual WLAN? networks, it is difficult for anyone to recommend a simple solution that works for every situation. Sony Clinic recommends trying to create a direct connection between your AIBO and your computer to make sure that the wireless lan function is working. This is called an Adhoc? connection. Sony Clinic Adhoc Connection Guide ERS-7

How do I find out my ERS-7's Birthday from the memory stick?

The ERS7 AIBO running Mind 3 keeps a reocrd of when his or her birthday is. On this day, AIBO will do a special dance to celebrate! You may also find that AIBO reminds you in the run up to their birthday so you can remember to buy them a nice present. It is not clear where this date is stored on the memory stick, however it is written to the diary files each day. Before viewing these files, make a back-up of the stick. The files can be found on the memory stick in the following location:-


When you open this location you will see a series of XML files. Ignore the AIFILES.XML and AIMFILES.XML, the rest are daily dairy files. Open one of these in Notepad. Look for the <PASSAGE> tag. Within this tage is another tag <STARTDAY> .Written in here will be a date, in the format YYYYMMDD. This is the date your AIBO was first started and is his or her birthday. If you upgraded your AIBO from a pervious version of the Mind software, then this date will be that of the Mind3 upgrade.

How do I back-up my AIBO's memory stick?

It is important to back-up your AIBO's memory stick in case it becomes corrupted. In order to create a back-up you will need a Sony branded memory stick reader, using any other brand may damage the PMS. Insert the PMS into the memory stick reader. Go to My Computer (for Windows users) and navigate to the drive which shows the memory stick. Double click on the drive and you will see the files at the top level of the stick. These will be:



Copy and paste these files to the location where you want to store your back-up on your PC. Once these files are copied over, your back-up is complete and you can replace the PMS into your AIBO.

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Page last modified on November 04, 2007, at 04:49 AM CST