n. 小机件,小机械 /'ɡædʒɪtri/
v. 使...浮, 支撑 /bɔɪ/
adj. 笨重的 /'klʌŋki/
n. 药物治疗 /ˌmedɪ'keɪʃn/
vt. 驳回，拒绝受理 /dɪs'mɪs/
Sony looks to reboot 1990s glory days with relaunch of robot dog
（742 words） By Kana Inagaki in Tokyo and Tim Bradshaw in Las Vegas ----------------------------------------------------- Aibo, Sony’s once-beloved mechanical pet which garnered a cult-like following when it was introduced in the late 1990s, has returned with eyes, ears and artificial intelligence resembling a real dog. The home robot was unveiled last week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where the falling cost of hardware and advances in artificial intelligence are propelling a wave of robotics start-ups. For Sony, the stakes are high as the company seeks to regain its position in AI and robotics after more than a decade of being in the shadows of US technology giants such as Amazon and Google. The cuddly mechanical dog is a symbol of Sony’s gadgetry strength and a symbol of what went wrong for the Japanese group. Aibo was discontinued in 2006 as Sony struggled with losses and a lack of compelling products that matched previous hits such as the Walkman music player and the Trinitron television. “Aibo is such a symbolic presence that is directly linked to our brand,” says Izumi Kawanishi, a Sony executive in charge of the company’s AI and robotics businesses. “Everybody wanted to do robots so people just came together [for the Aibo project].” Kazuo Hirai, Sony’s chief executive, revived the company’s robotics business in the summer of 2016, bringing together more than 100 engineers as the company staged a turnround buoyed by sales of its PlayStation games and image sensors used in Apple’s iPhones. The new Aibo, which hit the Japanese market at a price of ¥198,000 ($1,770), is packed with roughly 4,000 components — including sensors, cameras and microphones — to enable it to understand simple voice commands and interact with users. Through data collected on the cloud, Sony says the robot can learn to identify its owner and remember behaviours that make its owner happy. The original Aibo, launched in 1999, carried out programmed actions such as barking but its movements were clunky and its learning capability was limited with data stored on memory sticks as opposed to the cloud. It was, nevertheless, one of the most advanced personal robots consumers could get at the time. The market is now awash with AI-enabled products, ranging from smart speakers such as Amazon’s Echo, SoftBank’s humanoid robot Pepper, and toy robots offered by San Francisco start-ups such as Anki. “These products have to be priced in the $500-$1,000 range so Aibo’s price could be a barrier for adoption,” says Aditya Kaul, research director at technology research firm Tractica. “Consumers also have very high expectations, which is a reason why this technology is going to take time to roll out,” he adds. Tractica estimates the consumer market for robotic toys and personal assistants to grow from $542m in 2016 to $4.5bn in 2022. An array of robots were on display at CES, including Keecker, a roving entertainment system that follow their owners around the house playing music or projecting movies, to Elli-Q, a “social robot” head paired with a touchscreen tablet that is designed to help older people keep in touch with their families and gently remind them to take medication. Intuition Robotics, the Israeli start-up behind Elli-Q, has just raised $20m in a funding round led by Toyota, and will begin beta testing the device in California and Florida this month. Start-ups were not the only technology company displaying their latest inventions at CES. Omron, the multibillion-dollar Japanese robotics and electronics components manufacturer, drew a crowd at its first appearance at the show with its table-tennis playing robot. Ben Wood, analyst at CCS Insight, is dubious that most of the domestic robots at CES will ever see wide adoption, dismissing many exhibitors as “idiot tech”. “Most of them are closer to toys than something that adds real utility to your life,” he says. Sony executives are undeterred, saying Aibo “is just the beginning” of its AI initiatives and a series of other projects are expected to follow. While some of the company’s products already rely on rival technologies of Google and Amazon, Mr Kawanishi says AI-powered hardware such as Aibo — that can emotionally connect with its owners — is unique to Sony with its consumer electronics and entertainment background. The use of Aibo could also expand outside of living rooms to elderly care homes, schools and hospitals. While analysts remain sceptical whether there is a mass market for the new Aibo, devoted Sony fans are undeterred by the high price tag. “I’m thrilled that Sony is making robots again,” says 43-year-old Kei Yamashita, one of the first consumers to get hold of the new Aibo. “I think the new Aibo is a sign of Sony’s revival.”
Which of the following statements about the new Aibo is true ?
The mechanical pet has became a symbolic presence of Sony’s revival.
Sony introduced the new Aibo to regain its position in AI and robotics.
Some of Aibo’s functions rely on technologies of Google and Amazon.
The Aibo's data is collected on memory sticks and stored on the cloud.
Why did Sony stop its Aibo robot dog project in 2002 ?
Because the company suffered losses and lacked compelling products.
Because Aibo was not so profitable as Sony's previous hit products.
Because Aibo's functions and capabilities were clunky and limited.
Because Sony believed domestic robots would never see wide adoption.
Japanese electronics company Omron displayed its ____ at CES.
humanoid assistant robot.
roving entertainment system.
table-tennis playing robot.
social robot with a tablet.
What is the author's attitude towards domestic robots like pepper ?
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2. 不要把一个个单词分开看，要学会整体把握一个语义群。比如“an emergency $180bn injection of dollar”是一个语义群，应该整体地去理解它
3. 在看英文影视剧的时候，切换到英文字幕。4. 保持这份认真的态度，坚持英语学习，你将会获得很大的提高。
2. 加强对英文的数字写法，尤其是大数量的数字(million, billion)的识别与中英文转换的练习。