Thursday, February 26, 2015

Funeral to first generation Robodogs - the Japanese way!

Incense smoke wafts through the cold air of the centuries-old Buddhist temple as a priest chants a sutra, praying for the peaceful transition of the souls of the departed.
It is a funeral like any other in Japan. Except that those being honoured are robot dogs, lined up on the altar, each wearing a tag to show where they came from and which family they belonged to.The devices are “AIBOs“, the world's first home-use entertainment robot equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) and capable of developing its own personality .
“I believe owners feel they have souls as long as they are with them,“ said Nobuyuki Narimatsu, 59, who heads an electronics repair company specializing in fixing vintage products.
Sony rolled out the first-generation AIBO in June 1999, with the initial batch of 3,000 selling out in just 20 minutes, despite the hefty 250,000 yen (more than $2,000) price tag. Over the following years, more than 1,50,000 units were sold, in numerous iterations, ranging from gleaning metallic-silver versions to round-faced cub-like models.
The dog came with an array of sensors, a camera and micro phone. The final generation could even talk.
By 2006, Sony was in trouble; its business model was broken.The AIBO, an expensive and somewhat frivolous luxury , had to go. The company kept its AIBO Clinic open until March 2014, but then, politely, told dedicated and loving owners that they were on their own. Dozens of AIBOs are now “hospitalized“, with more than 180 on the waiting list.
The only source of genuine parts are “dead“ robots, who become donors for organ transplantation, but only once the proper respects have been paid.

1 comment:

  1. Well, this is the first I've heard of these. I must have my head in the sand or I'm too poor to afford one of these back in the day.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺