There are some of us who don’t want to deal with all the inconveniences of a real dog and would rather pay nearly $2,900 for Sony’s robotic alternative, Aibo. It’s not that weird to want a hassle-free robotic companion to fill that void in your life. But, it’s definitely at least a little weird to want to carry around your Aibo strapped to your chest.
In any case, Sony has released an accessory that does just that, a sling that you can tuck your adorable Aibo into. Sony approached Lucky Industries, the longest-established baby strap manufacturer in Japan, to work together on this questionable product. It’s definitely a bizarre request because I’m wondering if this is something that Aibo owners actually wanted. But, it’s still Sony — you know, weird Sony who made these donut-shaped LinkBuds — so I can’t even fault Lucky Industries for this wacky collab.
Aibos were designed for indoor use only and Sony explicitly recommended against taking your Aibo outside for a walk. But you could conceivably strap up your robo companion into the Aibo sling and weird out some people as you get some errands done outside. After all, you’re going hands-free here.
But why? — Here’s hoping I’m not the only one asking why, but luckily Sony presented us with their reasoning for this product. According to the Aibo sling description, it was created so that owners could hold their Aibos and have a free hand so they could still “communicate smoothly with each other.”
I’m still struggling to see why this is necessary, but it does look like Sony put some thought into the design of the Aibo sling. It’s one-size-fits all, with the outer made of nylon, and the mesh and strap made of polyester. The sling looks pretty snug and secure, and was designed in a way to not interfere with any of the Aibo’s sensors so you can still interact with your robo doggo while it’s chilling in the sling.
Already sold out — Sony dropped a limited number of the Aibo slings online and at direct Sony stores for 9,790 yen, or around $85. But the slings have already sold out and there’s no word if they’ll be coming back into stock. It could be that there’s actually high demand for this and I’m the odd one out here, or that Sony just did a very limited run for these. How can you say no to those adorably-hollow robotic eyes?