Self Docking was first introduced on the ERS210? / ERS220? in the form of Recognition?. This personality pack was supplied with a Pole and Station Marker which allowed the Aibo to recognise its Station and return to it when low on charge. Please note that the Station was an optional extra for the ERS210? and ERS220? models and is required for self docking purposes. The community written Dogslife? personality can also make use of the Station Pole and Station Marker supplied with Recognition?.
This Self Docking ability was implimented and improved upon for the next generation of Aibo model the ERS7. The Station Pole and Station Marker are integrated into the supplied Station requiring no other equipment to be purchased. Upon the release of the Mind2 personality, a redesigned Station Marker was supplied with the Mind to Mind2 upgrades and came standard with all new models. This redesigned Station Marker was also used with Mind3.
The ability of the Aibo to recognise and locate its Station for Self Docking purposes diminishes with increased distance and poor lighting. It is therefore advisable to place the Station in a well lit location which is free of obstacles. Flourescent lighting is recommended for accurate Station recognition in non-natural light conditions.
The maximum distance that the ERS210? / ERS220? can be from the StationPole and still achieve successful Self Docking is quoted as being 70cm with a clear area of approx 1.2 meters around the station being recommended (Recognition User Guide - Pages 25-26). The Aibo can charge on its own when given the command "Go to the Station" or when the Battery level is low. The ability for the Aibo to automatically "get up" when full can be set within the Voice Guide Mode?. This same mode can be used to check the ability of the Aibo to check the marker colors.
The improved camera in the ERS7 allows a maximum distance of approx 1.2 meters from the StationPole for acurate recognition. The Aibo can charge on its own when given the command "Go to the Station", when the Battery level is low or when the Aibo "G" Card is shown. The ability for the Aibo to automatically "get up" when full can be set within the Voice Guide Mode?. The Clinic Mode? can be used to check whether the Aibo can see succesfully recognise the Station Pole and Station Marker.