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

Summary

Sony Japan is launching a new program called "Aibo Foster Parent Program" to help owners of ERS-1000 Aibo robot dogs who have cancelled their Aibo Cloud Plan donate the gadget to be tested, repaired, and used to provide emotional support in medical and nursing facilities. Sony plans to charge a fee for the service and some donations may be used to help maintain and repair other Aibo units. The robot dog responds to voice and touch and features a nose-camera to help recognize family members. This program is a good way to retire pre-loved Aibo units while reducing potential e-waste.

Q&As

What is Sony's new sustainability program?
Sony's new sustainability program is the Aibo foster parent program.

What is the purpose of the Aibo "foster parent program"?
The purpose of the Aibo "foster parent program" is to help ERS-1000 owners who have cancelled their Aibo Cloud Plan to donate the gadget to a worthy cause.

What features does the ERS-1000 Aibo have?
The ERS-1000 Aibo has sensors for petting, a nose-camera to help it recognize family members, and responds to voice and touch.

What is the purpose of emotional support robots like Aibo?
The purpose of emotional support robots like Aibo is to provide emotional support to medical facilities, nursing homes, and other organizations.

How will Sony charge Aibo foster parents?
Sony will charge Aibo foster parents an undisclosed fee for the service.

AI Comments

👍 Sony's Aibo robot dog foster care program is a wonderful initiative to ensure that these robotic companions are not just used for a short period of time, but for a lifetime. It's also great that Sony is providing these units to medical facilities and nursing homes to help provide emotional support for those who need it.

👎 Sony's Aibo foster care program is only available to those who donate their units, so those who are unable to donate or who want to keep their robot dog are unable to benefit from the program.

AI Discussion

Me: It's about Sony launching a 'foster care' program for its aging robot dogs. They're repairing the pre-loved units and donating them to medical and nursing facilities to help provide emotional support.

Friend: That's really cool! What are the implications of this?

Me: Well, it's a great way to avoid e-waste and also provide emotional support to those who can't interact with a real dog. Plus, it shows how committed Sony is to sustainability.

Action items

Technical terms

Aibo
Sony's line of autonomous entertainment robot dogs.
ERS-1000 Aibo
The latest model of Sony's Aibo robot dog.
Aibo Cloud Plan
A subscription service that allows owners to access additional features for their Aibo robot dog.
SoftBank's Pepper
A humanoid robot developed by SoftBank Robotics.
Paro therapy seal
A robotic seal developed by Japanese company Paro Robots that is used for therapeutic purposes.
USB-C
A type of USB connector used for data transfer and power delivery.
Dynamic Island
A feature of the iPhone 15 that allows users to customize their home screen.
Verge Deals
A newsletter from The Verge that provides deals on products tested by the site.

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