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Sony Launches Aibo Foster Parent Program

Old and unloved robot dogs will be repaired and rehomed

Sony is launching a rehoming initiative for old Aibo robot dogs. The Aibo Foster Parent Program, currently exclusive to Japan, lets owners donate their old Aibo pets. Pets are then analysed and repaired before being given to foster parents at places like nursing homes and medical centers. Sony did state there will be a fee; however, the amount has yet to be disclosed. However, with a retail price of $2,899.99, the new foster program is sure to make the robotic dogs more accessible to the average citizen.

Those with old Aibo robot dogs can begin the process of donating their pets by visiting the Aibo foster website. Anyone who wishes to foster one of these robot dogs can also register through the site.

According to Sony, severely damaged Aibo’s will not pass the assessment stage. However, their parts will still be used to repair other pets. Donations are currently being accepted, although foster parents will not be selected until December. Each successfully donated pet will receive an Aibo Foster Parent Program Collar that matches the Aibo’s concept colour.

The Evolution of Aibo

When Aibo first launched in 1999, the product’s head was featureless, with a large screen across the face. Over the years, however, Sony has made Aibo look more realistic. Current models feature adorable eyes and a snout. The robot dog’s body has also evolved from a clunky robotic look to a sleek, more realistic interpretation. Sony has not stated whether it is accepting donations of the 1999 model. 

While Sony is enabling the fostering of Robot dogs, Fosterverse aims to up the number of real-world dog adoptions by letting users foster virtual dogs. Decentraland users can choose an actual dog in need of adoption through Fosterverse creates a virtual copy of the dog for the user to foster in the metaverse. Other Decentraland users can interact with the dog to learn its name, breed and adoption status.

Written By

Jack Brassell is a freelance journalist and aspiring novelist. Jack is a self-proclaimed nerd with a lifelong passion for storytelling. As an author, Jack writes mostly horror and young adult fantasy. Also an avid gamer, she works as the lead news editor at Hardcore Droid. When she isn't writing or playing games, she can often be found binge-watching Parks & Rec or The Office, proudly considering herself to be a cross between Leslie Knope and Pam Beasley.

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