TOKYO (ANN/THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN) – In a bid to increase their use, Sony Group Corp have begun seeking owners for ‘adoption’ of their unwanted Aibo dog robots in its “foster parent program”.
The company will connect owners who do not want to throw away their robot dogs with facilities that will use them to give comfort to patients at hospitals and nursing care facilities, and others.
Sony receives the robots from owners and performs work on them, such as deleting personal data. Then, the company will offer the Aibos to facilities that want them. Sony in December will begin seeking facilities that want to join the program.
Aibo is equipped with artificial intelligence and develops through interactions with owners and other activities. It is capable of identifying and distinguishing people and reading facial expressions. The robot was launched in 1999, but production was suspended in 2006 due to sluggish sales. However, a new model was launched in 2018.