Robot Cemeteries: Coming Soon? - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IT Leadership // Digital Business

Robot Cemeteries: Coming Soon?

As Sony discontinues manufacturing and support for its consumer robot Aibo, Japanese owners deal with "end of life" issues for a device that has become part of the family.

The average lifespan of Japanese women rose in 2013 to 86.61 years, up from 86.41 the year before, according to data released late last week by the Japanese health ministry. This makes Japan's LOLs (little old ladies) the world's longest-living females for the second straight year.

Japan's rapidly aging population is prompting the nation to evaluate medical technology, rethink its healthcare system, and invest in the private/public service infrastructure.

I don't think I'm alone in worrying about Japan's future, in which the number of people 65 and over is forecast to reach nearly 40 percent of the population by 2060. That's a lot of gray hair.

Similarly, Japan daily discovers more unintended consequences associated with the aging population of pet robots.

It's hard enough to see your parents age. It's equally hard to see your pet robot grow old.

Sony, inventor of Aibo, the nation's first "entertainment robot," announced back in 2006 that it would discontinue making pet robots. Why? The Japanese company wanted to focus on its "core" business, and Sony then (and still now) badly needed to restore its profitability.

Read the rest of this article on EE Times.

Former beat reporter, bureau chief, and editor in chief of EE Times, Junko Yoshida now spends a lot of her time covering the global electronics industry with a particular focus on China. Her beat has always been emerging technologies and business models that enable a new ... View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
8/6/2014 | 4:38:38 PM
Do the right thing...
...recycle your robots. Don't bury them!
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Blockchain Gets Real Across Industries
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  7/22/2021
Seeking a Competitive Edge vs. Chasing Savings in the Cloud
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  7/19/2021
How CIO Roles Will Change: The Future of Work
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  7/1/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Monitoring Critical Cloud Workloads Report
In this report, our experts will discuss how to advance your ability to monitor critical workloads as they move about the various cloud platforms in your company.
Flash Poll