As its name suggests, the ERS-31L has a similar body to the Latte and Macaron model, but a tougher looking mug more akin to a bulldog. It was released in May 2002 to mark the 3rd anniversary of the original AIBO release, with the lowest price yet: $600. As part of the celebration, SONY took their AIBO Orchestra on a tour, where attendees could watch 9 AIBOs perform Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.
Interestingly, a study conducted in 2007 suggests that mechanical pets like the AIBO offer the same health benefits as a real dog for patients in long term care facilities. Patients grew attached to the AIBO, which helped alleviate feelings of loneliness in the elderly. Of course an AIBO cannot teach owners about social relationships, but in those cases where a bedridden hospital patient needs some companionship, apparently even robots are better than nothing at all.
- SONY AIBO ERS-31L Press Release (EN)
- SONY AIBO Europe (official site EN/FR/DE)
- AIBO ERS-31L @ AIBO Kennel (EN)