Sony launches ‘foster care’ program for its aging robot dogs

The Sony Aibo robot dog in a logo for a new ‘foster care’ donation program.
A rehoming pound for preloved robot pups. | Image: Sony

Sony is launching a new sustainability program to ensure that even robot dogs are for life, and not just for Christmas. Five years after releasing the ERS-1000 Aibo — a reboot of its popular line of “autonomous entertainment” robot dogs from the late 90’s — Sony Japan is now launching an “Aibo foster parent program” to help ERS-1000 owners who have cancelled their Aibo Cloud Plan to donate the gadget to a worthy cause.

According to a machine translation of the Japanese press announcement, Sony will test and repair ERS-1000 units donated to the program before providing them to medical facilities, nursing homes, and other organizations that could benefit from emotional support robots like Aibo. Sony says it plans to charge Aibo “foster…

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