January 30, 2007

A couple of videos

I've just uploaded to YouTube a couple of videos that feature Andacá, my now ageing ERS-110. Both videos were taped from reports broadcast on Portuguese TV, and I'm going to share here the inside story of each one (sorry if they sound Russian to you).

The first report was aired on May 19, 2001 on a TV show about science and technology. The report is about robots, divided in two parts. The first part is about Figo (like the famous football player), a robot built by college students and entered into Robocup; the second part is about Andacá:

Andacá ended up in this report because I knew the reporter and told him I owned the only Sony Aibo in Portugal, as it had been "smuggled" from the U.S. A year later, as the occasion arose, he remembered and called me. I was all too eager to have Andacá (literally "comehere" in Portuguese) being shown to the world. We met at my office and I suggested filming in the showroom of the Sony HQ which happened to be within walking distance. I had previously asked there about Aibo, but no one knew what I was talking about. And yet, the ERS-111 had already been released officially all over Europe... oh well. Even more "oh well" when the showroom employees expressed no interest in seeing Andacá there. Still, we got the permit to film on the showroom floor. Naturally, as Aibos almost always do, Andacá behaved terribly because of the new environment. It was very hard to get him to notice the ball at all, and the only kick on the ball we got from him was the headbutt, with which the report ends.

The second video was filmed after but actually aired a few days earlier than the first one, on May 10, 2001. It was a report on a news channel about descendants of emigrants who chose to live in their parents' homeland. The person who was chosen was my wife Nancy. She was interviewed in our apartment and is shown interacting with Andacá at around the 1:40 mark:

Again, the stubborn dog was not too helpful. This time the excuse could only be the strange people in the apartment....

Still, we have many fond memories of Andacá, with his personality so peculiar and so different from Pedro, out other Aibo.