Around 114 of Sony’s outdated AIBO robot dogs were dearly departed and honoured with a traditional funeral at the Chiba Prefecture in Japan. The funeral was like any other held in Japan with incense smoke in the air and a priest chanting a sutra praying for the peaceful transition of the departed souls, a Japan Times report stated.
Each of the old generation dogs was wearing a ta to show the place they came from and to which family they belonged to. Quite interestingly, the electronics repair company A-Fun Co, which is known to fix vintage products, has sent off around 800 AIBOs in a similar way over the past years. These defunct dogs will now be used to serve as organ donors for defective robots. However, before doing so, the company honoured them with a traditional send-off at a centuries-old Buddhist temple, according to an AFP report.
The priest at the 450-year-old Kofukuji temple in Isumi, Tokyo elaborated on the concept of giving the funeral and dismissed that the idea of holding memorials for these machines is absurd. In an interview with AFP, he stated that the essence of Buddhism lives in everything and though it may seem abstract, it basically highlights that everything has a conscience.
The AIBO is said to be the first house-use entertainment robot which is capable of developing its own personality. Rolled out by Sony in 1999, the initial batch of 3,000 dogs sold out in just 20-minutes, even when they were priced at 250,000 yen (approx one lakh). However, the production of these bots was stopped in 2006.