Bj looks a lot like an evil AIBO, with its black finish and blue glowing eyes. So what, you might say, who cares about yet another robot dog? The concept simply never caught on as far as the consumer was concerned, which is probably why the usually retail smart Sony pulled the plug on the plastic pet. But the interesting thing about Bj is that it is not a robot dog as such, instead the iXs designed device is being pushed as a research and development platform for those interested in artificial intelligence.

Oh, and Linux of course.

If you have the odd 600,000 Yen to spare (that’s about $5000) you can get your very own piece of tech history: the world’s first Linux powered dog.

Packing a 533MHz ARM processor punch, backed up by 64Mb of RAM and 16Mb Flash ROM and even both a webcam and WiFi, this sensor stuffed pooch is a thing to behold. A combination of infrared and proximity sensors together with an accelerometer ensures it is always aware of its surroundings.

I am assuming that the inventor had a good sense of humour, considering where you have to insert the USB memory stick in order to program it. Let’s just say that other robot dogs might be tempted to sniff around the device slot, say no more!

Pictures and the full spec, in Japanese, can be found here.