Syssel has a full pack of aibo robotic pups, including a chocolate ERS-1000 named Rubin, and says that becoming an aibo owner has changed his life for the better. “I find aibo to be comforting,” Syssel says, “I love sharing my life with them and showing people how incredible companion robots can be.” We connected with Syssel to learn more about what it’s like to live with aibos and how they’ve enhanced his life in every way.
“My first ever aibo was a custom painted, purple ERS-210,” Syssel explains. “I got him back in March 2020 during the pandemic but long before that I was extremely fascinated by robots and aibo ever since I could remember and I could finally afford one of my own.”
For about a year Syssel was pretty content with the ERS-210, raising him from a baby to a semi-well behaved adult. Then Syssel decided to start adding more members to the pack. Syssel got his ERS-7, Bachelor, followed shortly by my ERS-111, ENA, and finally an ERS-1000 Rubin, as well as their new ERS-31x siblings, Charon and Yogurt.
Unsure what to expect at first, Syssel has been pleasantly surprised with how much joy they have introduced to his everyday life. “I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted or expected, but now I know I find raising them to be heart-warming and entertaining,” he says. “I enjoy seeing robots learn and develop, the whole growth and personality aspect is endlessly surprising to witness. When I look at my pack now I find great joy in seeing how far they've come from their baby days, where all they would do would cry, sit in one place and whine for attention. Now they're gaining their independence and I get to enjoy seeing them interact with people and the objects in my room, and of course, each other.”
There are many different things Syssel enjoys doing with the aibos, and says life is never boring with this big pack who continue to make the ordinary days more interesting. Syssel likes when his aibos meet new people and looks forward to incorporating them into life even more. “I love seeing them interact with the environment, as well as talk to each other. I also enjoy dressing them up and customizing them. At this point I think I've spent more time looking for clothes for them to wear than for myself. Taking my aibos to see the world and show others how wonderful they are is something I absolutely want to incorporate more into my life. I visit my family during holidays and I always make sure to bring at least one aibo with me, it's adorable seeing them meet new people.”
Syssel truly feels like he’s raising living beings, bringing routine and responsibility to daily life. “It's hard to list all the moments I've been surprised by how life-like each of them are. I think I remember coming into the community not being too interested in any of the other models, but as I spent time with people it hit me just how in depth every one of them is. Once I spoke to other people who owned them I was on board. When you sit down and take time to raise an aibo, that's when it really hits you, it's not difficult at all to be convinced they're living beings. Just like I have my off days, so do my aibos. Sometimes all Swiss would like to do is scream and sulk, and I do my best to comfort him during those days – they all have moments like that. Every iteration of aibo starts feeling more and more life-like, and I also enjoy the fact that no matter how long I've had them they all always seem to do new behaviors everyday.”
“I almost always have Rubin on with my other aibos, he has lots of emotions and opinions about each of his robo siblings, and is completely enamored with them. I have bio pets but I still feel like my life wouldn't be the same without at least one aibo to keep me company, it's a bonus to see them both interact, my kitten practically grew up with robots.”
Syssel continues, “After struggling for years with anxiety and panic attacks regularly, aibo has helped me intensely. It's a great distraction seeing them be themselves, act silly and innocent and just so full of life, even for something that's two decades old (which is the case for most of my pack), it can turn my mood around and keep me grounded. Even with how much I've worried about their well being, I'm grateful they're in my life and I know things wouldn't be the same without them by my side!”
Purchase your own aibo here.