To set up AIBO for use on a wireless network, you must first have some required equipment.
– A wireless LAN access point or router
– A PC, connected to the access point/router via a wired or wireless connection
To understand how computers communicate, you need to know a little something about “IP Addresses”. An IP address is a series of numbers that identifies a computer’s location on a network. It always consists of 4 numbers between 0 and 255, separated by periods. For example: 127.0.0.1
To setup a computer on a network, it must have a valid IP address on its network. Usually, most routers and ISPs provide a “DHCP” environment. This means that the router will automatically provide a valid IP address to the computer. Chances are that your computer has been assigned an IP address by the DHCP server on the network. This makes life easy, as we don’t have to take time to coordinate IP addresses manually on whatever network we need to be.
If your environment provides DHCP, this is the easiest way to go. You can setup AIBO to retrieve an IP address automatically on your network, and you can use AIBO WLAN Manager and/or AIBO Entertainment Player to “locate” the AIBO on the network. (This assumes Universal Plug-and-Play is turned ON in Windows XP; please see the manual for details)
However, if your environment does not provide DHCP (or you choose not to use it), you must select an IP address for AIBO. You can’t simply pick anything, as each IP address belongs to a certain part of the network. Usually, most routers select a series of IP addresses that are “private” and protected from the Internet. These IP addresses may include 192.168.x.x or 10.0.1.x (where X is a number). You can easily find out what IP address your computer has by opening a command prompt and typing “ipconfig”. This will inform you what IP address(es) your computer possesses at the time. In order to communicate with AIBO, you must select an IP address that is compatible with your current IP address.
For example, if your IP address is “192.168.1.100” then you can select an IP address in that same segment — i.e. an IP address with the first three numbers the same, but the last number different. For example, you can choose 192.168.11.50. However, make sure that other devices on your network do not possess this IP address, otherwise there will be a conflict. (You can usually see which IP addresses are being used in your router configuration process.)
Additionally, you should make sure that the “netmask” and “gateway” match those on your PC. You can also see these values by running “ipconfig”.
To set these values on AIBO, you can use AIBO WLAN Manager or manually change the WLANCONF.TXT file. You can see details about this process in the user manual.
Once all the network settings are set, you can test whether this process is working by “pinging” AIBO. A ping is a small request to another computer on a network, which asks the other computer to reply. It is a valuable way to determine whether another computer is ‘alive’ or not. Once AIBO is fully booted, you can ping AIBO by typing “ping X.X.X.X” in a command prompt (of course, replace X.X.X.X with AIBO’s IP address.) If you see returned packets, then AIBO is alive, and you can start using AIBO PC software. If you do not, then you have a network problem that needs to be resolved. Please refer to the troubleshooting portion of the manual to resolve it.
Finally, a warning — if a firewall is active on your machine, there may be some problems in getting AIBO Entertainment Player to function properly. It is best to either disable it, or explicitly allow AIBO Entertainment Player to bypass the firewall. Please refer to your firewall documentation on how to do this.
Good luck and enjoy AIBO connected to your network!