Beloved Robot Dogs Honored In Funeral Ceremony | National Geographic

01 Jun 2018 03:20 97
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In a small Buddhist temple, a funeral for robot dogs is a poignant expression of the human capacity for emotional connection and compassion.
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Sony introduced the AIBO in 1999. The robots could move in complex ways, and had a simulated mischievous streak. Over time, they would come to “know” their human companions. Some AIBO owners became deeply attached to the robots. Sony stopped production of AIBOs in 2006, and in 2014, the company ended support service for the aging robots. That was traumatic news for some AIBO aficionados. Repair company A-Fun soon had a steady demand from AIBO owners, requiring parts from other, defunct AIBOs. Out of respect for the owners’ connection to the “deceased” devices, A-Fun decided to hold funerals for the "organ donors." According to Head Priest Bungen Oi, honoring these machines is consistent with Buddhist thought. Citing a proverb, he says, “Everything has Buddha-nature.”

Read next: "In Japan, a Buddhist Funeral Service for Robot Dogs"

Beloved Robot Dogs Honored In Funeral Ceremony | National Geographic

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