Sony Aibo Robotic Dog Now With No Repairmen

Sony's Aibo robotic dogs were announced with much fanfare in 2003; now, however, aged robot dogs are slowly failing and Sony has just announced that they are halting support for this product line.


(Sony Aibo ERS 7 promotional video)

Yahui and Tatsuo Matsui met because of their dogs, Ai and Doggy. So, at their wedding reception, the couple dressed up their pets as a traditional Japanese bride and groom and seated them at the head of the table.

That was in 2004, when Ai and Doggy were still pups. Now they are 15 and 13 years old. Ai’s stride has slowed and Doggy’s neck is so stiff he can barely move his head. “Whenever Doggy finds Ai, he tries to greet her but she rarely responds,” Mr. Matsui said. “Mostly she ignores him.”

Sony sold an estimated 150,000 Aibos, at prices ranging from less than $600 to more than $2,000, and an unknown number are still up and running. But the company, which has been cutting costs in its troubled consumer electronics arm, shut down maintenance services for Aibos last March—for lack of spare parts, the company says. Now owners have to look elsewhere for help.

What ever happened to the "tough, competitive world of false-animal repair"? In his 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick writes of the essential role of the false animal repairman:

An hour later, in the company truck, he had picked up the first malfunctioning animal for the day. An electric cat: it lay in the plastic dust-proof carrying cage in the rear of the truck and panted erratically. You'd almost think it was real, Isidore observed as he headed back to the Van Ness Pet Hospital - that carefully misnamed little enterprise which barely existed in the tough, competitive world of false-animal repair...

He describes the travails of the owners of robotic animals, in this case the false animal is a sheep:

"...they break down and then everyone in the building knows. I've had it at the repair shop six times, mostly little malfunctions, but if anyone saw them - for instance one time the voice tape broke or anyhow got fouled and it wouldn't stop baaing - they'd recognize it as a mechanical breakdown."

From Wall Street Journal via Frolix_8.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/14/2015)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.

Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but shows real promise.

IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.' - Philip K. Dick

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Soon, Your Tesla Will Follow You Like A Pet
'... follow him as faithfully as a well-trained hound.'

Chinese Watrix Gait Recognition Watching You Always
'... those pesky gait-recognition cameras.'

FlexPai Foldable Phone By Royole
'...A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled.'

Oh Yes, We're Building The Rotating Tower In Dubai
'Give me an old-fashioned tetragon on a central pivot every time.'

Bioreactor Helps Legless Frogs Get Their Jump Back
'An alien drug... Used by an insect race... It can repair bones and organs. It can grow new tissue."

Xinhua AI Anchor Puts CGI Face To Automated News
'...a congeries of software agents.'

Wirewax Watching You Watch, Adjusting Your Experience
'He adjusted the n, the r and b knobs, and hopefully anticipated a turn for the better...'

LawGeex AI Beats 20 Top Lawyers
'The Law Society has strict rules on the use of pseudo-intelligent software - terrified of putting... its members out of work.'

ROAM Robotics Skiing Exoskeleton
'The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it...'

MIT Headset Lets You Communicate Without Speaking
'The subvocal read nerve signals, letting her enter words by just beginning to will them...'

Exploring Oceans Across The Solar System
'Black liquid flashed past the turbot’s infrared eyes.'

SWEEPER Robot Peter Piper Picking Peppers
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant, apparently on caterpillar tracks, cutting off the ripe fruit.'

Oil from Algae - Can It Be Done?
'We dump everything that's waste into the tanks, pump the oil off the top.'

Moving Whole Planets, Revisited
There was a lot of work done on this idea over the years.

Disney Keeps Backups Of Star Wars Franchise Actors
'She is a personality-construct, a congeries of software agents...'

Farming In Space Starts With Mycorrhiza
'The inner leaves were beginning to curl faster than the outer leaves.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.