Whatever Happened To Robotic Dogs?

Aibo Techradar

Techradar recently ran a piece asking Whatever Happened to Robotic Dogs, an article that looked at the history of robotic dogs including the Sony Aibo. You can read the full article here.

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The Family Dog

Sony Aibo The Family Dog

The New York Times recently interviewed a series of owners, whose Aibos are a central part of their lives, but are slowly having to come to the fact that their dogs have a life expectancy. The video shows the plight of current-day Aibo owners in a completely heartbreaking video.

Thanks to a shortage of parts, Sony stopped repairing Aibos in March 2014. Repair work is now left to home-grown technicians, who have to cannibalize some Aibos to fix others. Read more ›

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Aibo Inducted Into Museum Hall Of Fame

Sony Aibo Latte & Macaron 3

Sony’s Aibo robot dogs were recently inducted into Japan’s National Museum of Nature and Science “Hall of Fame”. The hall of fame is a heritage list which recognizes products that helped advance technology or had a substantial impact on the culture or economy in Japan.

You can read the full article here

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Aibo Owners Feel Abandoned

Sony AIbo

The Wall Street Journal ran an article a couple of months ago about the difficulty in finding technical support for ageing Aibos now that Sony has discontinued support for them.

Ritsuko Kobayashi has been organizing the monthly get-togethers in Kawasaki since 2003. Originally, she says, the idea was to let Aibo owners meet in a relaxed setting where they could help one another program the robots. Mr. and Mrs. Matsui met at a similar gathering in Kyoto in 2001.

Now that Sony no longer offers technical support, the meetings have taken on a more vital role as a place where owners can help each other with repairs.

Aibo owners say a thorough overhaul is necessary once a year to keep the robots functioning properly. The weakest link, many owners say, is a leg joint that can fail, preventing the dogs from walking or even getting up.

Read the full article at http://www.wsj.com/.

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Sony AIBO Funeral

Sony Aibo Funeral

Digital trends has a story on their website today about a Sony AIBO funeral that recently took place in Japan:

Sony’s robotic dog, named Aibo, was launched way back in 1999 and finally discontinued in 2006, but many of the 150,000 Aibo live on inside owner’s homes. Except they’re getting old, which means some are coming to the end of their lives. The pictures you see above are from an Aibo funeral, held in the Chiba prefecture in Japan.

The little robotic dogs are accompanied by engineers from A FUN, a company specializing in Aibo repairs, but these Aibo are obviously beyond even expert help. Each one has a tag with the owner’s name and the place from where they came written on it. The head priest of the temple prays for the 19 Aibo dogs, and says it’s to aid the robotic souls in passing from the bodies.

The full article can be seen here.

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