The Critical Engineer considers any technology depended upon to be both a challenge and a threat. The greater the dependence on a technology the greater the need to study and expose its inner workings, regardless of ownership or legal provision.

Humanity's reliance on technology within recent years is undeniable. It has ingrained itself into almost every aspect of human life whether it be something as simple as flushing the toilet or something as complex as building a supercomputer. This tenet reverberates with the rapid pace our society's reliance on technology is growing at. The movie Ex Machina--(spoiler alert) in which a humanoid robot manipulates and kills its human creator and caretaker in order to assimilate with the outside human society--is becoming a very real possibility. As this possibility grows larger, we, as engineers, are obliged to study the field of technology thoroughly to prevent or adapt to the radical new changes it might bring.



AIBO is a series of robotic pets created by Sony and first introduced on May 11, 1999.  Both prestigious designers and engineers worked together and ultimately earned AIBO spots in places like the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Institution, and receive many design awards. (they were also added into the Carnegie Mellon University Robot Hall of Fame!)

Teams of AIBO played during several Robocup events (short for Robot Soccer World Cup), which were aimed at promoting robotics and AI research. These robots were unique in that they had the capacity to learn, responding to a plethora of different variables--especially on the soccer field. The robodogs are able to take in sensory data and compute an action. If they perform a less than ideal action, they are able to improve their subsequent actions with positive feedback, much like a real dog being rewarded for learning how to high five. Ever since their release in 1999, new models of AIBO came out until 2006 when AIBO was discontinued. Every AIBO was created with the usage of AIBOLife software which enabled them to "see", walk, and recognize commands while their sounds were programmed in by music composers who fused together mechanical and organic noises.

The creators of AIBO were most likely studied previous robots with artificial intelligence and were inspired to make something that was more complex and ever-evolving to its surrounding environment. The AIBO serves as one of the checkpoints in artificial intelligence, giving opportunities for more self-learning algorithms.