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AIBO the Robot Dog that relieves the loneliness of nursing home residents

Updated on April 13, 2014

Disadvantages of Aibo

AIBO stands for Artificial intelligence robot or similar to the word for "companion" in Japanese. It was just recently in the media that a study carried out by Saint Louis University finds that a dog named Sparky and a robotic dog, AIBO, are about equally effective at relieving the loneliness of nursing home residents and fostering attachments. Sony developed a special 'R-code' language to program the pet dog with. A disadvantage to the Aibo is that Sony discontinued the line of robots back in March 2006. Currently the Aibo is very rare but can be sometimes found on ebay going for $500 or more. A great alternative to Aibo is Pleo the pet robot dinosaur by Ugobe. Pleo is only $199 and is readily available on Amazon.

Sparky the Aibo: Robot Dogs & Other Robotic Pets

Sparky the AIBO: Robot Dogs & Other Robotic Pets
Sparky the AIBO: Robot Dogs & Other Robotic Pets

Very nicely written and a cute book. It goes into each models of Aibo and their history. And, the writer's personal experiences with her Aibos. If you ever wonder why Aibo owners love their Aibo, read this book.

"Aibo is not a toy".


Pleo Dinosaur - A Ugobe Life Form - Sophisticated sensory system with nearly 40 devices enable sight, touch, and autonomous movement

Robotic wonder explores and reacts to environment, interacts with you, and expresses emotion

Pleo Dinosaur - A UGOBE Life Form
Pleo Dinosaur - A UGOBE Life Form

Pleo is a cunningly cute robotic toy that has a very "1.0" feel about it. For better and/or worse, you can tell that some envelopes are being pushed here. The baby dino can feel touches, knows when it is upside-down, and can "see" with a small camera in his snout. Supposedly it can hear but apparently not very well.

First the good news: Pleo behaves with a good degree of "intelligence". He will purr like a kitten and growl like a puppy; he responds to being petted or stroked under the chin. His reactions are a bit slow but generally appropriate. He won't walk off the edge of a table, although he *will* back off. He knows when something is in his mouth and will make feeding sounds or, if you jostle him, he will growl and play tug-of-war. His skill at tug-of-war is a highlight.

Also, if you decide to get a Pleo, be aware that the first few times you turn it on, it will be in a "newborn" state--sleepy and uncoordinated, wanting only to be petted. So some patience is required. It seems to take a few days for the robot to become fully active and more independant.


Tekno the Robotic Puppy - Silver - Tekno robotic puppy performs a variety of cool tricks

Behaviors are launched by pressing the sensors on his head, neck, nose, and side

Walks forward, backward, right and left; features color-changing eyes

Tekno the Robotic Puppy - Silver
Tekno the Robotic Puppy - Silver

I'm a Senior and live in a building that does not allow pets of any kind. I have always had a dog and was just lost without a roommate to talk to. Yup, I talk to my little one often. I enjoy watching his walking around and even his whining. I received three of them(2 for other seniors, who enjoy them also)and there have been no complaints from anyone. Not even the management. Thanks.


Do you know anyone who benefits from an Aibo?

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