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Press Release


The following information is true and accurate at the time of publication.
May 7, 2002



OPEN-R Architecture Specifications To Be Made Public
OPEN-R Software Development Kit to be Made Available on the Internet Free of Charge

- Introduction of AIBO as an educational platform for robotics research -


Tokyo Japan, May 7, 2002 - Sony Corporation today announced it will make the software specifications for OPEN-R Architecture available on its official AIBO web site [http://www.aibo.com/openr *this link is no longer active and a revised page does not exist.] from June 3rd, 2002. A software development kit "OPEN-R SDK" based on the OPEN-R specifications will also be made available free of charge for noncommercial* use.
By making the AIBO entertainment robot platform publicly available, Sony hopes to help academic institutions conducting robotics and artificial intelligence research. Sony also hopes to facilitate the growth of the personal robot industry by providing a bulletin board located on the AIBO web site.
* For commercial use, additional contracts are needed.

The "OPEN-R SDK" software development kit can be downloaded from [http://www.aibo.com/openr *this link is no longer active and a revised page does not exist.] from 10:00am on Monday, June 3rd, 2002. Prior to the posting of OPEN-R specifications on the Internet, general information regarding the software and FAQ will be posted on the same web site from 15:00 on Tuesday May 7, 2002. Sony wants to actively promote OPEN-R architecture for entertainment robots by highlighting its ability to modify the robot's functionality by changing the software modules and allowing the robot's shape and features to be altered by replacing parts of the robot's body (i.e. legs, head).

The OPEN-R software specifications provide details of the Application Programming Interface (API) that controls AIBO's basic movements, such as joint movements, sensor input, image capture and wireless communication by LAN. Because the "OPEN-R SDK" includes the software specifications, the Application Programming Interface (API) and the source codes for sample programs, robot enthusiasts will be able to create customized software programs simply by downloading the "OPEN-R SDK" software development kit to their PCs.

By composing robot movements in C++ programming language based on the OPEN-R software specifications and using a free GNU development tool* (a C++ language compiler gcc, etc.) downloadable from the Internet, users will be able to create programs that can be operated on an AIBO entertainment robot. This will further enhance research and education in software technologies such as robotic movement control and artificial intelligence using the existing AIBO entertainment robot platform.
* A GNU development tool is NOT included in the OPEN-R SDK. The GNU development tool can be downloaded from the web site [http://www.aibo.com/openr *this link is no longer active and a revised page does not exist.] with GNU GPL (GNU General Public License).

Noncommercial products developed using "OPEN-R SDK" can be distributed freely. Sony hopes to accelerate the development of robots throughout the industry by introducing the "OPEN-R SDK" software development kit and establishing the electronic bulletin board on the AIBO web site where researchers and programmers can post their noncommercial products and exchange opinions.

About Sony
Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and on-line businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be a leading personal broadband entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of nearly $57 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002. Sony's Home Page URL: http://www.sony.net/




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