People in Japan Are Now Having Playdates for Their Robotic Pets

The event takes place every Sunday at a local cafe and garners so many people that some have to be turned away.
Loukia Papadopoulos
The photo credit line may appear like thisETC-USC/Flickr

Robot pets are all the rage in Japan and people seem to have an unusual attachment to them. In fact, in May of 2018, we reported how discarded Aibos, a particularly cute kind of robotic dog, were being honored with funerals to allow owners to gracefully say goodbye.

A happy activity

Now, there is a new activity that is taking place with robotic pets in Japan only this one is a lot happier. It seems Japanese robotic pet owners are getting together for playdates and even birthday parties.


The news reported by BuzzFeed is funny at first glance but makes a lot of sense when you think about it. People have robotic pets to replace the need for a real pet so it would make a lot of sense that they would wish to do all they can do with a real pet.

The playdates take place at Tokyo’s Penguin Café every Sunday and the event has become so popular that BuzzFeed reported that people without pets had to be turned away.

The event is called “Aibo World” and it launched in November of 2018. This was the time when the Penguin Café’s owner Nobuhiro Futaba bought his own Aibo.

Why choose a robotic pet?

When BuzzFeed asked attendees at Futaba's event why they chose a robotic dog over the real thing the owners had several compelling reasons.

Some did not have enough space for a real dog, others worked too many long hours. There were also those concerned with the noise a real pet might make and disturb the neighbors.

There is no doubt that these are all plausible and valid reasons. But one reason stood out the most and that is that owners did not want to have to see their pets die.

“It would break my heart to have another dog die,” one owner told BuzzFeed through a translator. A touching reason indeed!


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