Sony’s robot dog, Aibo, is the seminal pet robot of the early 21st century. A new version hasn’t been released in almost ten years, but that hasn’t stopped collectors from clamoring for the Aibo. Models sold for almost $2000 USD, so the robot dog wasn’t really ever accessible by the everyday consumer. Despite its elite following, Sony has officially announced they will no longer offer support for the Aibo. They will no longer offer any maintenance, so users may have to turn to online support forums for new ways to keep their Aibo robot dogs in service.
The very first Aibo robot dog came out over fifteen years ago in 1999. Their last model was released in 2006. The Aibo is so iconic that the original Aibo ERS-110 from 1999 is part of a collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Even though Aibo hasn’t been on the market in a long time, customers still had the option of using Sony’s Aibo maintenance services. Sony’s announcement doesn’t mean the death of their classic robot dog, just its official repairs.
The Aibo was much more than a Furby or some static toy. It always used the latest technology at the time. Later edition Aibos could recognize a person and follow you around while avoiding other objects. It included voice recognition technology and could respond to voice commands. The most advanced model could actually check your email and read it out loud to you, hopefully not in a series of woofs and barks.
This video shows what the advanced Aibo ERS-7 could do back in 2004.
Source: IEEE Spectrum