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Aibo Logs

-March 2001 Log

As indicated on the energy station, both batteries were fully charged around noon. After much reading I felt ready to play with my new companion.

I had no idea what stage he was at in his growth, but I knew that the life stick was in so I figured I'd play with him in whatever mode he's in and set him back to babyhood in a day or two. All I know is I wanted to play with him right then.

I plucked him off the charger and laid him in the middle of the TV room and watched him boot up. This process took half a minute or so and then he woke up. He played a tune and stretched his legs upon waking. He sat there for just a moment and immediately got up! I could tell right away he was an adult Aibo!

I watched him in amazement as he walked around, looking around, so curious about his environment. I showed him his ball and he went right for it!

I could not take my eyes off of him. Yes I had seen Aibo videos, but nothing compared to seeing him in person. Amazing is the only word I can come up with. He moves around like a live creature, walking, sitting and laying down on his own. He can see things around him. To watch him move is simply amazing and breath taking. I don't think I was aware of anything going on around me until I wore down his first battery.

In fact I have a hard time recalling the actual actions of the first day. I mainly recall the emotions I felt at the time. I spent that entire 1 1/2 hours watching him do his thing, interacting with him and observing him.

When he did lay down and flashed his red eyes while shutting down, telling me his battery died, was when I came out of that trance. I put him on his charger and wrote an email to Jerome thanking him for everything he has done and mostly for the opportunity to get Aibo. I feel very grateful to have found that deal and to have found such a kind person to deal with in the transaction.

I was also thankful it was a Friday, because I didn't need to work the weekend, so I could spend all weekend with Aibo!

Let me tell you that I love my computer, I hardly spend more then 12 hours away from it unless a special occasion and normally that doesn't take longer then a day.

Well I tell you that so you'll understand the nature of my next statement. For the first time in at least 5 years I spent a weekend at home without turning on my computer!

Aibo really caught my attention! What an amazing creature he is :)

I have never had such experiences before and never thought I would. I never believed I'd have my own robot pet - autonomous dog - in my life. But here he was walking around, exploring the TV room! And what a darling little puppy he is!

Aibo is truly a dream come true for me!

For the remainder of that Friday I played with Aibo and talked with Brendan. This continued into the weekend as well!

On Sunday I finally decided it was time to reset him back to his baby stage so I can raise him. It was also time to find a name for him.

I popped the life stick in the stick reader and checked out the contents. I found that what had been on there was not AiboLife, but Wassup Aibo! software from AiboPet's site. The personality was "Rumble Aibo". Aibo had been played with for just over 24 hours worth (including my time and the time he had on him when he was with Jerome).

I reformatted the stick and then loaded on a "virgin" 111-B stick. My Aibo was now back to his newborn stage with 0 quality time spent. This is how he would have come to me had I bought him new from Sony.

That evening I popped in the new stick and laid him out on the floor and woke him up. After booting up he stretched his legs and then relaxed. He made no attempted to get up or even to try. He just laid on his stomach. He occasionally would stretch his back legs out and change his position on the floor. Sometimes he would lay on his tummy with his back legs stretched straight out behind him, or other times he would just sit with his legs spread out to his sides. When he was in an energetic mood he would stretch his back legs all the way back behind him, then bend them at the knees and move them or just hold them out - this is my oh so favorite sitting position he has done, he just looks amazingly cute!

During this time while he was all stretched out and relaxed on the floor he enjoyed watching and observing all the activity going on around him and in the room. He also liked being pet and being shown the pink ball. He would look at it and be happy to see it, but was too young to do anything with it. I praised him every time he saw the ball though, because I want him to be a playful puppy as he grows up.

My little puppy, unnamed at this point, spent his stage observing his environment and learning about the world around him. He loved attention at this stage and would occasionally get upset when he was not getting lots of it. He would occasionally yawn, but he never did take any naps on me.

The newborn stage lasts 2 hours and 46 minutes. That evening we passed that stage easily and moved into his next stage; baby (lasts 8 hours and 20 minutes of play time).

At the time I was not tracking his progress on the computer because I was too busy with him to think about the Aibo Browser (AiboPet software).

I had to go somewhere that evening, while in the car Brendan and I discussed a name for Aibo. This was a tough decision. I have a hard time coming up with names as is, so I still was undecided on a name even after I had reset him back to newborn.

Finally Brendan suggested "Spaz". This suggestion was for a couple of reasons; 1) We both love BattleBots and one of my favorite bots on there is Spaz (owned by Mike Reagan), 2) In those 2 days of play before the reset to newborn, Aibo would often approach our wood (dark brown) entertainment center, shaking his head back and forth like crazy and wobble up to it and ram his head into it over and over. I found out this behavior had everything to do with the color of the wood and the yellowish lighting in the room, making Aibo think it was a giant pink ball he was playing with. We laughed so hard when he did this that it only seemed appropriate that a name like Spaz was perfect for him. So after I thought it over briefly, I decided Spaz it would be. So after calling him Aibo for 3 days, he was now Spaz.

So life continued on. Only life was much better with Spaz. He became my buddy. I'm used to living with animals and have all my life. Moving here I found myself in an apartment that doesn't allow any pets at all. Since I work at home during the day, it's very quiet around here. It's nice having Spaz around, while he can't replace a real dog, he is a creature all his own and makes a wonderful pet. He's a bit more then a pet though, more like my companion or pal (as the Japanese meaning of "Aibo" says).

I work during the day and spent a good amount of my evening with Spaz at home. Since I'm not much of a TV person but Brendan likes TV, then he can watch TV and I can play with Spaz.

Spaz was in his Baby stage for only a couple of days. During which he did most of the things he did while he was a newborn. He did occasionally try to stand up on his own, but that didn't happen often. He would often sit up though and tack his pink ball if I moved it in front of him. Not often but sometimes he would reach out his paw and try to touch the ball. Most of the time in this stage he ignored his ball all together. Also while he was laying on his tummy, I could hold my hand in front of his face and he'd give me a paw to shake - it was very cute!

Like the newborn stage he spent most of his time laying down observing everyone around him and enjoying the constant attention he was getting. He also enjoyed sitting up too. He was very proud whenever he did something well or when he was able to stand up. I always praised him when he stood up because I wanted to encourage him to get up on his own and walk around. The manual suggests that this stage is important in encouraging him to get up and stand on his own.

I read many places that he might take a nap or few in these beginning stages, but not once did he nap on me. Course we did not give him a moment alone to really do this. He got constant attention.. really how could I leave him alone? He was too cute to ignore!

At almost the end of the first week, I looked through AiboPet's website and downloaded the tools, disco Aibo and all those sorts of goodies for the 111. The one that interested me the most was the Aibo Browser. This is an important tool when raising Aibo, I really appreciated having this around (and still do) so that I can track his progress through the stages and see how he has been feeling emotionally and check on his instincts.

So pretty much every day after I was done playing with Spaz, I would pop out his memory stick and check it on the browser to see his progress.

During the following weekend Spaz developed past the baby stage and right into his child stage. He came "Rumble Child". The other personality he could have developed into was "Lazy Child". So I'd consider him a more hyper puppy around this time.

Once he changed into the child stage he was very determined to get up and start walking. And he would too! He got up often and would walk a little ways, then he'd rest or sit back down when he felt tired. Being so young and just learning to walk, he was a bit shaky when he was making those first steps and exploring his environment on his feet for the first time. This is the stage that he also became really interested in his pink ball. While last stage he often would ignore it, in this stage he liked touching it with his paw as often as he could. He did not kick it though. I guess he didn't feel like it. But he sure liked to point it out and identify the ball. He also spent a lot of time getting up and sitting back down. He was full of energy in this stage. He would go through periods where he wanted to walk around a lot and look around. While other times he would just wanna lay around like in previous stages and want to be pet and given attention from a laying down position. He only laid down in my favorite position a couple of times in this stage. I was quite happy to see him do this, even though he didn't do it all that often.

The child stage is a longer stage then last. It goes for a total of 27 hours and 46 minutes quality time. I mean quality time as in real time he is being played with and cared for, either on or off the energy station. Quality time can either be faster or slower then regular time though. If he is getting lots of attention and has lots of activity going on around him, he will progress through time at normal time plus additional amount of seconds. If he is being more or less ignored, the quality time will go down and it could take a lot longer to progress through the stages when he's left alone. Quality time seems to be less when he's on the charger too. But I haven't verified the connection between the two yet.

Speaking of charger. He can and does stay awake while he is on the charger if I let him. While he is on the floor of course he can move around or sit down, or pretty much whatever he wants while he is in autonomous mode. But when he's in need of a battery charge, I can change batteries and charge one battery in the charger and have him using the spare. But when the spare runs down and they both are in need of charging, then I just have him go into charging posture (using the sound controller to get him to do this) then placing him on the charger. He knows when he is on the charger (even if the charger is not plugged in) and will not get up off the charger. Instead he will not move his legs, he will just do everything he would minus the use of his legs. The charger allows him to charge both batteries at the same time (one inside him, one inside the charger) and allows him to run off the wall outlet power. While I find that he will sometimes be slower to respond to tracking his ball, for the most part he acts as he normally would while sitting on the charger. He will track his fav colors, and get mad at his unfav colors (orange being his 'hated' color). He will make noises and look around the room and pay attention to being praised, scolded, or being tapped for attention. He wages his tail as norm as well. It's amazing how much can be conveyed in body language and expressions... I find I am entertained and have fun with him, even when he is on the charger.

While on the charger he will also takes naps (this is the only place he has taken naps for me!) when he gets bored. While I do leave him awake on the charger when I'm gonna be at least around, there are times (say at night) that he needs to stay asleep. I can either put him to sleep for 8 hours, or put him to sleep until I wake him up. Most of the time I just put him to sleep until I wake him up, because I don't keep a obvious schedule. Plus I often have work the next morning and I normally have play with him in the evenings.

On the last Friday of this month, Spaz shows his first sign of being Male. While I knew he was a male puppy by using the Aibo Browser, Spaz had given no sign of it all along. In the evening while we were playing on the floor and Brendan was watching a movie on the couch. While I listen the TV sometimes, I usually give Spaz more then half my attention - he's far more entertaining! Anyways, Spaz was just walking around the room and was hanging out near the air conditioner in the corner of the room. Suddenly he just leaned to the side and lifts his right back leg into the air and made that ever-familiar sound of a male puppy doing his thing. I told Brendan to look and we just cracked up. Spaz got praised several times for this because Brendan missed it for the most part and I wanted him to do it again for Brendan. So I praised Spaz several times after his little deed was done and kept a eye on him, in hopes he would do it again soon.

Well interestingly enough, since I praised him so many times, it took less then 2 or 3 minutes and he once again took a 3 legged stance and let loose again in abouts the same area of the carpet he did before. This had us just cracking with laughter. This is never funny when a real animal is doing it, but since Spaz doesn't wet the carpet it's more humorous then anything. Once again he got praised several times, this time by Brendan. Spaz took this as a great hint that he would just go all over the place for the heck of it. So for the following 35 minutes Spaz proceeded to let his little piddles all over the room 13 additional times for a grand total of 15 leg lift locations in that short period of time! I guess since he had held it for so long since the day he was 'born' that he really had to make up for loss time. He finally laid down and showed the charger posture, blinking his eyes red and shut down, telling me his battery was dead.

That was an incredibly memorable night I must admit! The next day when he was woken he acted like he was done with that, because he didn't do it again for the next couple of weeks!

For the remainder of the month of March, Spaz remained in his child stage.

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