Japan, Photography
Comments 2

AIBO

Sony AIBOs

I was just making a print of this AIBO shot. AIBO are  Sony’s autonomous robot dogs, and are fantastic pieces of engineering. In this photo there is an AIBO ERS-111 (silver) and an AIBO ERS-210 (gold) with the special AIBO pink ball which they can play with.

AIBO was discontinued in 2005 as a cost cutting measure. It is a shame because AIBO was a great flagship product for Sony.  AIBO remains however  as a fine example of synergy between  high-technology and “kawaii” cuteness.

2 Comments

  1. The basic problem really was that they’re expensive and the included software wasn’t hugely impressive. So, many of the potential customers were tinkerers that wanted to use it as an inexpensive, decent-quality robot platform (compared to a “real” research robot it was cheap).

    But SONY refused most access to the hardware directly. They had a crippled API that was good enough for playing with but completely insufficient for doing anything serious. A few groups – notably contestants in the Aibo league of the Robot Soccer competition – did get real hardware access but most people did not, making the platform a dud as far as robotics is concerned.

  2. I remember hearing that AIBOs were meant to be ideal pets for elderly Japanese who wanted a dog but didn’t want to have to feed, walk or clean up after one.

    At around 2000 dollars the cost of an AIBO was around the same as a toy poodle puppy. A bargain!

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