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.
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.
As the AIBO is now discontinued you can not buy any new ones. Anywhere. That means that the only chance you have of buying an AIBO is on Ebay or similar auction site.
However, there are a number of scams on Ebay so you should be careful when looking for an Aibo for sale, although there aren’t as many as there were when the AIBO was still available to buy new! Take a look at our pointers below and also read this post on the AIBO-Life web site.
To see what AIBO and AIBO related items are currently for sale on Ebay click here.
To determine if the auction you are looking at might be a scam, you should first look at several things on the eBay auction page itself, a seller that is trying to deceive will usually use some or all of the following tricks:
1. The seller will usually have no (or very little) eBay feedback.
2. The seller will usually have a very recent eBay joining date. Read more ›
Disco AIBO is a piece of software built using RCODE/RCodeplus by Aibo Pet that makes your AIBO dance along to songs played from your computer or stereo.
It consists of 23 songs that are recorded with a trigger tone at the beginning of them that tells the AIBO to start dancing. Some of the dances have multiple parts, for example a singer and back-up dancers doing separate routines.
You can download the software from AiboPet’s site and there are full instructions on how to install and play it there as well.
All models of AIBO are supported although some of the dances differ slightly depending on the model. but it is still quite a sight watching multiple AIBOs dancing along to the songs. Here’s a video of over a hundred AIBOs dancing to the Hokey Cokey from the Aibonation 2006 meeting:
Back in 2005 Sony and Daft Punk collaborated on the first ever AIBO dance contest.
The idea was to get AIBO owners to download a 30-second clip of Daft Punk’s song ‘Technologic’ and then create a dance routine for their AIBO . Here’s a snippet of the press-release associated with it.
Brussels, 18th April 2005
Sony And ‘Daft Punk’ Get Together For The World’s First Ever AIBO Dance Contest
In a bold marketing initiative, Sony Entertainment Robot Europe and EMI/Virgin Music launch an exciting campaign uniting AIBO with the enigmatic techno dance band ‘Daft Punk’.
A Lifestyle Partnership
Stylish, innovative and highly original, both AIBO and Daft Punk are renowned for the unique way they embrace emotion and technology. Now these pioneers from the worlds of robotics and electronic music have come together in a ground-breaking campaign that challenges AIBO owners to create a video of their four-legged companion dancing to the latest Daft Punk track.
“It’s a fantastic collaboration and a great opportunity for AIBO to link up with one of today’s most progressive techno dance groups” says Hilde Niedermann, Head of Sony Entertainment Robot Europe. “Both AIBO and Daft Punk offer consumers a unique entertainment experience based around cutting edge technology, lifestyle and music. As well as boosting awareness across Europe, the campaign will highlight just how easy it is for end-users to program AIBO.”
Entering the contest is simple. AIBO owners download a 30-second loop of ‘Technologic’, the latest single from Daft Punk’s revolutionary new album ‘Human After All’, then create an impressive dance routine for their AIBO based on the track using a variety of easy-to-use programming tools. Owners upload a video of the sequence to a specially designed contest microsite where fans and enthusiasts will vote for the most impressive entries from the 24th of May. The microsite will be available from Thursday 21 April at www.aibo-does-daftpunk.com.