Sony Corp. is developing a robot dog to combine smart home capabilities with the “emotional bond” that humans typically reserve for their real-life pets.

Sony Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai described the pet project the company is planning as a robot similar to the now-discontinued AIBO robotic pet devices developed in the late 1990s, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Japanese electronic maker is planning to roll out the dog-shaped pet robot at some point in spring 2018.

Although the cost and whether this new robot dog product will continue to use the Aibo name is still unclear, Sony says it will hold a media event in November to flesh out details about the new domesticated device. Last year at a Sony strategy briefing, Hirai told the Journal the company was developing “a robot capable of forming an emotional bond with customers.”

Earlier this month, the Nikkei newspaper reported Sony was planning the release of a pet robot that could control and alter home appliances and electronic devices. According to WSJ, more than 100 Sony employees are involved in the company’s robotics projects.

The new Sony robot dog is planned to feature improved internet connectivity, smoother movements around the home and faster responses to owner commands. Unlike the Aibos, these new hound-inspired bots would be able to learn new tricks from internet upgrades.

Sony sold more than 150,000 Aibos between their initial release in 1999 to their discontinuation in 2006 by then-CEO Howard Stringer.  The artificial intelligence on the Aibos was state-of-the-art at the time and the pet robot could greet their owners, sing songs and perform several other entertainment features.

Sony shut down all maintenance servers for the pet products in 2014 – which left thousands of Aibo owners feeling their pet robots had been abandoned.

But the new pooch product faces immense competition from tech giants Amazon and Alphabet Inc. Their Echo and Alexa speakers, respectively, currently dominate the personal smart home assistant market. Both products already blend human personality characteristics with the ability to perform everyday functions such as playing music, performing Google searches or stating the day’s weather forecast.