They say all dogs go to heaven, but is it really ALL dogs? What about robot dogs made in a factory? Apparently that's the case in Japan.
But first, a little background. Let's take a trip back 16 years. In June of 1999, Sony debuted its AIBO robot dogs. This was the very first example of entertainment robots in your home. Equipped with Artificial Intelligence, these bots had all the good parts of a dog and none of the bad ... no dirt to clean up, no feeding required, no chewed up furniture, and no vicious attacks. They could even develop their own personalities.
The first batch of 3,000 robot puppies sold out in 20 minutes, despite the high price tag of more than $2,000. Over the next few years, AIBO robots underwent makeovers, got new fun features, but was discontinued in 2006 when Sony cut the product line when it ran into business trouble.
Since then, Sony opened AIBO Clinics offering AIBO dog owners repairs and maintenance. Those last of those clinics shuttered in March of 2014, telling owners they were on their own.
So what is an AIBO dog owner to do?