It appears as though the Purdue University study I reported on yesterday extolling the virtues of robot pets came too late to save everyone’s favorite robo-puppy, the Sony Aibo, and apparently it’s not the sole casualty of Sony’s bottom line. While there has been no official announcement, careful inspection of Sony’s 2005 3rd Quarter Earnings Announcement posted on their corporate site this morning reveals that they’ve killed the Aibo product line and will be ceasing development of Qrio.
The sad, undeniable news is laid bare in the slide entitled “Restoring Profitability in Specific Business Categories” under the heading Entertainment: “New product development for AIBO has already ceased and production is targeted to stop by the end of fiscal year 2005. There will also be no new development for QRIO. R&D in the AI area which was developed in the AIBO and QRIO business will continue and will be deployed in a broad range of consumer electronics products.”
Beck must be disappointed. I know that I am.