26 Feb '15, 7pm

Sony Halts Support for Aibo, Still One of the Best Robot Toys Ever

Sony Halts Support for Aibo, Still One of the Best Robot Toys Ever

Sony stopped making the Aibo robot dog in 2006. In robot years, that’s ages ago. Still, many robot enthusiasts would agree that these little robotic pets remain one of the most sophisticated consumer robot toys that you can ever hope to own. In fact, after the first Aibo was released in 1999, Sony worked very hard to improve the robot with each generation. While consumer robots ultimately weren’t profitable for Sony, the Aibo is now an icon (there’s one at New York’s Museum of Modern Art), and the company did a good job of supporting Aibo owners with accessible software and repairs. But that’s all over now. According to a Wall Street Journal story, Sony is officially discontinuing Aibo maintenance services, citing lack of available spare parts. To give you a sense of what the fanciest Aibo (the ERS-7) was like, here’s a Sony promo video from 2004: What’s not shown in the v...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/home-robots/s...

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