If, like Sarah Connor, you wake during the night in a pool of sweat at the thought of a Skynet-style computer sending a robot army out to destroy mankind, this will actually come as good news. Sony will stop development of its AIBO robot dogs and QRIO humanoids in March.
Okay, so that’s a blow to our mechanical friends’ bid for taking over the world but it also means we’ll sadly be one step further from the promised land of Star Wars droids who serve up drinks or chuck us a lightsabre at a crucial moment.
The lovable cyber-mutt made his debut in 1999 and has been steadily improving ever since, adding better visual recognition, learning capabilities and even Wi-Fi video streaming to his repertoire.
Watching him pick up his bone or back-heel his ball can be life-altering moments, even if you do have to spend hours waving them in front of his head before he lurches into action.
QRIO’s bipedal existence has only lasted since 2003 and has been a little more rock ‘n’ roll, with celebrity appearances around the world – his finest hour saw him throw the first pitch at a baseball game. Crazy.
Fear not if you’ve splurged out on an AIBO and are worried about where to find worm tablets or whatever, as we’re assured that technical support will be available until 2013.