Sony’s adorable robot dog, Aibo, is a beloved companion for many in Japan. What’s particularly intriguing is Sony’s recent introduction of a unique sustainability initiative called the “Aibo Foster Parent Program.”
This innovative program is designed for owners of the ERS-1000 Aibo robot, specifically those who have opted out of their Aibo Cloud Plan subscriptions. Sony (Japan) will take these ERS-1000 units, refurbish and test them, and then donate them to medical facilities, nursing homes, and other organizations that can benefit from the emotional support provided by robots like Aibo.
While Sony plans to charge “Aibo foster parents” for this service, the exact cost remains undisclosed. These fees will not only cover the program’s operational expenses but also support the maintenance and repair of other Aibo units, depending on their condition.
Sony’s Aibo robot dogs are originally intended for individuals who wish to experience pet companionship but face limitations such as allergies or other constraints that prevent them from interacting with real animals.
This initiative is regarded as an environmentally responsible means of “retiring” Aibo units that are no longer in use, simultaneously contributing to the reduction of electronic waste. Sony Japan is firmly committed to promoting the reuse of Aibo in social and medical contexts to assist those who can benefit from these remarkable robotic companions.