Thursday, February 02, 2006

Dear AIBO enthusiast... bad news

Sad days for all people interested in artificial creatures… AIBO is dead !
« Following the Sony Corporation FY05 3Q announcement, the production of AIBO Entertainment Robots will be discontinued as of end March 2006. As for the sales activity, we will discontinue the sales of AIBO once all remaining stock runs out. » « Sony as a whole will be focusing on three core business domains: electronics, games and entertainment, with an emphasis on profitability and strategic growth opportunities. In light of this focus, it has been decided to discontinue the AIBO business. Sony is not planning any new research and development specifically for AIBO or QRIO products, but R&D for the elemental technologies (visual recognition, sound recognition, etc.) will continue for research on Artificial Intelligence. The knowledge and technology Sony has gained in robotics may possibly be applied to future Sony products. »
This is the end of the AIBO story that began in the early 90’s at Sony. Since its commercial launch in 1999 more than 150,000 AIBOs have been sold worldwide. I take this picture of the « last AIBO » at Sony Building in Tokyo last september. I suggest that it could be a good idea for Sony to make this technology available as an open-source project, instead of just being lost for everybody. We will miss you guys.

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