Sony Puts AIBO Robot Dog To Sleep
Sony Corp. has officially euthanized the Sony AIBO entertainment robot and stopped development on its QRIO humanoid robot, the company said today.
The “announcement” was slipped into Sony’s 2005 third-quarter earnings report, which also detailed a number of plant closings and a refocusing to core businesses like entertainment, pictures and music
According to the report, AIBO development had already ceased in mid-to-late 2005 and production ended late last year. “However, sales and support will continue,” the report said. “There will also be no new development for QRIO.”
While the news stunned many robot enthusiasts, the writing seemed to be on the wall. While the company updated the AIBO software and memory capabilities each year, the last major overhaul was almost two years ago; by raising the price every year, Sony appeared to be daring the US market to ignore it. The success stories of WowWee’s Robosapien and Roboraptor and iRobot’s Roomba robot vacuum also served to highlight the price chasm between them and AIBO’s $2,000 robot and their sub-$300 and sub-$200 offerings, although AIBO was always the more powerful robot with more motors, flexibility and artificial intelligence.
This stunned me as well but it seems that it maybe pending litigation over the rootkit that might be part of the the reason for this move since they had a great program. I wonder if anyone is going to buy the unit or if anyone in the unit is going to make a start up company with a next generation bot?