Sony is launching a sustainability initiative that aims to ensure the longevity and appropriate use of its robot dogs, especially the ERS-1000 Aibo. This program comes five years after Sony revived its popular “autonomous entertainment” robot dog series from the late 1990s. The initiative is called the “Aibo foster parent program” and aims to help ERS-1000 owners who have canceled their Aibo Cloud Plan donate their devices to a meaningful cause.
Sony’s plan; It involves testing and repairing donated ERS-1000 units before they are distributed to medical facilities, nursing homes, and other organizations that could benefit from emotional support robots like Aibo.
The company plans to charge “adoptive families” an undisclosed fee for this service, and some of the donations may be used for maintenance and repair of other Aibo units, depending on their condition.
Although Aibo was not initially marketed as an emotional support device, it is suitable as an emotional support companion with its interactive capabilities such as responding to voice and touch and using the nose camera to recognize family members.
Japan has shown interest in emotional support robots, as evidenced by previous initiatives such as SoftBank’s Pepper and Paro Therapy.
This program not only retires beloved Aibo units; It also contributes to reducing potential electronic waste in line with sustainability goals.
Compiled by: Eliz Canyurt