Sony launches foster care programme to repair its ageing robot dogs

Tokyo, Sep 11 : Sony has launched a new "Aibo foster parent programme" for its ageing $2,900 Aibo robot dogs to ensure that even robot dogs are for life. The programme will allow owners whose basic plans have been cancelled to donate them and then the company will check the condition and provide the necessary treatment to the Aibos and donate them to "Aibo foster parents" such as medical facilities, nursing care and other organisations. With this programme, Sony aims to "make Aibo more sustainable" by providing the units a second home where they can get emotional support and more, the company said. These are the newer 2019 ERS-1000 Aibo robot dogs that are still being sold, which are a revival of the late 1990s "entertainment" dogs. It's not exactly a fully charitable project, as Sony will charge "foster parents" an unnamed fee for service for the Aibo robots, which may also include some donated units being used for parts depending on their condition. Aibo is capable of performing a variety of tricks, such as standing on its hind legs and greeting its owner at the door, and has been designed to "mature" over time, much like a real dog. It also includes a web-based interface for programming custom actions. The units have a suite of sensors, respond to voice and touch, and can even recognise specific people, making them ideal for emotional support. /IANS


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