(Artificial Intelligence roBOt, homonymous with "companion" in Japanese) is one of several types of robotic pets designed and manufactured by Sony; there have been several different models since their introduction in 1999. Able to walk, "see" its environment via camera, and recognize spoken commands, they are considered to be autonomous robots, since they are able to learn and mature based on external stimuli from their owner or environment, or from other AIBOs. Artist Hajime Sorayama created the initial designs for the AIBO.
On January 26, 2006 Sony announced that it would discontinue AIBO and several other products as of March, 2006. It will also stop development of the QRIO robot. AIBO will still be supported until 2013 (ERS7 model), however, and AIBO technology will continue to be developed for use in other consumer products. AIBOware (the name is a trademark of Sony corporation), is the title given to the software the AIBO runs on its pink Memory Stick. The Life AIBOware allows the robot to be raised from pup to fully grown adult while going through various stages of development as its owner interacts with it.