Foster Parent Program: Aibo Dog Robots to Offer Hospitals and Nursing Care Facilities

By Douglas Jones

In a groundbreaking move, Sony Group Corp. has unveiled its latest initiative, the "foster parent program," aimed at finding new homes for unwanted Aibo dog robots. This program will facilitate the transfer of these robotic companions from their current owners to hospitals and nursing care facilities, where they can provide comfort and companionship to patients and individuals in need.

Recognizing the potential of Aibos to bring joy and support to various settings, Sony seeks to connect owners who are reluctant to part with their robot dogs with facilities that can make good use of them. By doing so, the company hopes to increase the utilization of Aibos and ensure that these remarkable creations continue to serve a purpose even after their initial owners no longer require them.

As part of the process, Sony will collect the Aibos from their owners and undertake necessary tasks, such as deleting personal data, to ensure a smooth transition. Once prepared, the company will offer these Aibos to facilities that express interest in incorporating them into their operations. Starting this December, Sony will actively seek out facilities that are eager to participate in this innovative program, fostering a sense of community and collaboration.

The Aibo dog robot, equipped with advanced artificial intelligence, evolves and learns through interactions with its owners and various activities. Capable of identifying and distinguishing individuals, as well as reading facial expressions, this remarkable creation has captured the hearts of many since its initial launch in1999. Although production was temporarily suspended in2006, Sony's commitment to the Aibo robot remains unwavering.

With the introduction of the foster parent program, Sony aims to ensure that Aibos continue to make a positive impact on society. By repurposing these robotic companions, they can bring comfort, companionship, and a sense of joy to those in need, further cementing their place as valuable assets in the healthcare and caregiving sectors.

Sony's innovative approach to repurposing Aibo dog robots through the foster parent program demonstrates their dedication to creating a more compassionate and interconnected world. As the company actively seeks out facilities to participate in this program, it is clear that the future of Aibo lies not only in the homes of individuals but also in the hearts of those who can benefit most from their presence.

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