Aibo, Sony’s robot dog, offers company and entertainment to users in hospitals and healthcare centers
Robot dogs “abandoned” by their masters are finding a new home in medical institutions as companions for recovering patients. This is an innovative initiative, known as the “Aibo Foster Parent Program” undertaken by Sony, one of the manufacturers of this type of companion robots. The goal is to provide well-being and joy to those who require constant medical attention during their recovery process.
The concept behind this initiative is to take advantage of robot dogs like Aibo, that are in good condition and that their owners no longer wish to use. Instead of becoming electronic waste, these robots will be given a second chance to brighten the lives of patients, their families, and medical staff in healthcare settings.
Aibo learns the routines of his owners
The choice of medical institutions as ideal destinations for these robot dogs is based on the conclusion of a report by Sony. This study found that patients’ interaction with these artificial pets can have a positive impact on their recovery, as well as the well-being of their families and the medical staff caring for them.
Like other smart devices, Aibo can be configured to interact with it. The user can give it directions, set sleep schedules, and even “feed” it. But what makes Aibo truly special is its built-in artificial intelligence system. The dog robot not only responds to commands, but also learns about its current owners and their routines. Over time, you develop a “unique personality” based on these interactions.
Aibo imitates the behavior of a real pet. He can nap, play with special balls and bones, and express emotions such as sadness when his owners have to go out. Even when they return home, Aibo may be waiting at the door and offer a heartwarming welcome.
In case the robot dog is damaged beyond repair, Sony has planned an ingenious solution: it allows Aibo’s information and “memories” to be stored in the cloud. This means that if users decide to purchase a new robot dog in the future, it can inherit information from its predecessor, providing a unique continuity in the user experience.
Currently, Aibo offers up to three separate services or products that require subscription. This includes the “entertainment robot” costing $1,345, a three-year basic subscription plan for $611 or a monthly option for $20, and a support plan with prices ranging from $360 to $135.
This initiative marks an exciting advancement in the way technology can be used to provide comfort and companionship in medical settings. Robot dogs like Aibo are proving they can bring joy to the lives of those who need it most during difficult times, and their adoption in medical institutions promises to be a growing trend in healthcare.