I remember when the Sony Aibo was launched way back in 1999. It was the robotic dog that was supposed to revolutionise pet ownership by providing companionship without actually pooing on the floor and needing walkies every few hours.
Although it was very expensive, it was undoubtedly the most exciting robotic dog since Doctor Who’s K9 first hit our screens. Sadly after 16 years it’s time for owners to say their fond farewells to their much loved robotic pets as they go to cyber heaven.
Gizmodo reports that Sony is calling time on Aibo because of a shortage of repairs, meaning that repair work is now left to home-grown technicians who have to take parts from other Aibos – like a sort of robotic donor system.
The New York Times has recorded the plight of current-day Aibo owners in a completely heartbreaking video which you can see below. They interviewed a series of owners, whose Aibos are a central part of their lives, but are slowly having to come to the fact that their dogs, like real dogs, have a life expectancy.
So RIP Aibo. It’s a sobering thought that nothing lasts forever – not even virtual pets.