Sony says goodbye to Robotics branch

By Justin Mann on January 27, 2006, 7:00 PM
Sony is axing their robotics projects, including the “Aibo” dog, popular among certain groups, to instead focus on other projects. This comes along with other changes being brought by Howard Stringer, the CEO of Sony. Sony has been losing money, and Stringers plans are to remove what isn't needed to focus and being the company back into the blue. Robotics in the house are still probably a distance yet from being common, and without large companies that focus on the home to begin with touting them, it will be even longer yet.

”"I think one day we're going to wake up and robotics is going to be a real huge consumer industry," robotics industry analyst Dale Musser told TechNewsWorld. The uncertainty is when and how such a market will develop, he said, "but I think there will be a time when it's the next big thing."”
Unlike many other abandoned technologies that may have been a boon, at least in this case many people recognize the eventual value it may add. Unfortunately, to get to the long term you must deal with the short term. Sony has lost business, especially to Apple, and with other big players like Dell and HP in what is one of their biggest arms, they do what they must.

User Comments: 11

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Need_a_dell said:
I think that is is a wise decision on Sony's part. As of right now, there really is no market for household robots. With the release of Blu_ray technology right around the corner, and the future release of PS3, Sony has enough on their plate.
MonkeyMan said:
Wow, this is very futuristic indeed. A robotic dog? well, it is a great concept, but I'm not sure if it will fan over consumerwise. I like the way that Sony is thinking though, they are bringing up ideas, that no other company is focusing on right now. And with that being the case, it shows that Sony has an open mind, and that they are going to be a force to be reckoned with in 2006.
PUTALE said:
mmh, that's a shame. Sony has done a great innovation in the robotic business and has brought many cool products.
nathanskywalker said:
[quote] I think that is is a wise decision on Sony's part. As of right now, there really is no market for household robots. With the release of Blu_ray technology right around the corner, and the future release of PS3, Sony has enough on their plate.[/quote]True, they are taking on quite a bit already.....robot dog, well the idea has merit, especially for those with me, but i don't think a robot could ever replace a real dog. Though it is possible, and more probable that they mean the "dog" look to make a roboservant more...userfriendly? You know, having a dog robot, instead of some skeletal wire-brained-terminator thing would be a nice change. Ok, so that's an exagerratioin, but still, would make sense, i think.
gamingmage said:
I didn't realize that Sony was losing money. It must be a lot if they have to cut some things. Maybe this has to do with the PSP and is success or failure in terms of sales.
jmag034 said:
I guess robots just arent profitable...
vigilante said:
Robots are profitable, if you can get enough people to buy them :)When I saw comercials for those robots I just laughed. Yes it has a "cool" factor and yet the robotics are very high tech, but it is still nothing but a toy. I don't see practical home AI needed for some time to come. I think it's a wise move for them.
Nic said:
If these robots can be made cheap/intelligent enough, then more people will buy them. Robot dogs would mean that people wouldn't have to go out with a shovel every day to clear the roads/pavement of doggy poo!
JMMD said:
I hope they keep their research going. The Aibo was very cool it just lacks the functionality that people are probably expecting from a robot pet. I'm still amazed at all the innovations being made in the field of robotics. There was a show on one of the HD channels that showed the different breakthroughs/uses for robots today. It was pretty cool.
LoZz said:
sony sony sony, there going down hill latly, poor customer susport (personal exsperance and comments from friends) and there loseing money i here not susprized they need to make cut backs somewhere
thrudd said:
Loosing Money? Oh wait, they meant their consumer products division with the high advertising/management overhead. Like they could loose money on their Music and TV / Film sections. As for the robotics, they are still being researched and developed by their industrial robotics division - the stupid dog was just something thrown together by the consumer products branch to try and milk the hoopla from their robotics divisions research - silly thing didnt use any of the tech from the robotics research - it was something designed by marketing, with very little new engineering incorporatedReal consummer robots are on the market - those automated lawnmowers and vacuums. Heck the vacuum even docks itself to recharge while the lawn mover is solar powered.
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