Sony Initiates Program to Rehome Unwanted Aibo Dog Robots

Sony Group Corp. has recently introduced a “foster parent program” for Aibo dog robots that are no longer wanted by their owners. The aim of this program is to find new homes for these robots in hospitals and nursing care facilities where they can provide comfort to patients and others in need.

To implement this program, Sony receives the unwanted robots from their owners and performs necessary tasks such as deleting personal data. Next, Sony connects with facilities that express interest in having an Aibo and offers the rehomed robot to them. In December, the company will begin searching for facilities that are willing to participate in this program.

Aibo dog robots are equipped with artificial intelligence and learn and develop through interactions with their owners and other activities. They are capable of identifying and distinguishing people as well as reading facial expressions. The initial version of Aibo was launched in 1999 but was discontinued in 2006 due to poor sales. However, a new and improved model was reintroduced in 2018.

This program not only helps find new homes for unwanted Aibos but also enhances their utilization. By connecting owners who do not wish to dispose of their robots with facilities in need, Sony plays a crucial role in fostering the well-being of patients and others requiring comfort in hospitals and nursing care facilities.

The Yomiuri Shimbun