Sony Group Corp. has introduced a new initiative called the “foster parent program” for their Aibo dog robots. This program aims to transfer unwanted Aibos from their owners to hospitals and nursing care facilities, increasing their utilization and providing comfort to patients and others.
Under this program, owners who do not want to dispose of their Aibo robots can connect with facilities that are interested in using them. Sony will receive the robots from owners and perform necessary work, such as deleting personal data, before offering them to participating facilities. The company plans to start seeking facilities to join the program in December.
Aibo is a robot dog equipped with artificial intelligence that learns and develops through interactions with its owners and other activities. It has the capability to identify and distinguish people, as well as read facial expressions. The robot was initially launched in 1999 but production was suspended in 2006 due to low sales. However, a new model was released in 2018.
This foster parent program not only provides a solution for owners who no longer want their Aibos, but also brings comfort and companionship to patients and individuals in hospitals and nursing care facilities. By repurposing these robots, Sony is enabling the utilization of technology to enhance well-being and emotional support in healthcare settings.
Sources: The Yomiuri Shimbun