Sony Corp. relaunched the Aibo on Thursday, with fans expressing excitement at the second unleashing of the robot dog.

The gadget's revival is not just a simple product relaunch but a symbol of Sony's recent resurgence as it vies to play a leading role in the robot market expected to bloom in the coming years, analysts said.

"It's been about a year and half since we started developing the new Aibo . . . the day where we can provide it to new owners with confidence has finally come," said Izumi Kawanishi, who oversees Sony's artificial intelligence and robotics group, at a promotional event held at Sony's headquarters in Tokyo.