Tips for purchasing a Sony Aibo ERS-1000 from Japan


Staff member
My tips for purchasing a Sony Aibo ERS-1000 from Japan
If you are interested in the Aibo ERS-1000 robot and reside outside the US/Japan(the only current sales regions) you can purchase one cheaply second hand from Yahoo Auctions Japan or Mercari Japan using a proxy like FromJapan, Japonica Market or Buy From Japan. I have used these successfully in the past but my experience with them may be different to your experience with them and I can’t guarantee a positive outcome, only speak from my personal experience.

Buy From Japan

From Japan

Japonica Market

In my currency with shipping, proxy fees and import taxes, I couldn’t justify to purchase new if I wasn’t going to get any official support as I live outside the designated sales regions. So I purchased a cheap second hand unit from Japan and had it reconnected to a three year cloud plan with Sony.

Things to consider beforehand:

-If you want to reconnect to the cloud ensure the proxy checks the serial number to ensure it can be reconnected to the cloud via a three year cloud plan and receive future software updates.

Get your proxy to check it here:

-If the listing shows the ERS-1000 displaying eye colours not default to that particular model, it means it has not been reset to factory default settings and may include additional dances and behaviours. If you are not interested in reconnecting to the cloud these are the Aibos to look for.

-Aibos that have not been reset to factory settings may be ineligible for cloud connection again. Best to check serial number to verify this status before purchasing.

-Connecting to WiFi may cause a expired cloud connected Aibo to be automatically reset to factory default.

The registration process is done via the Japanese version of the My Aibo app or My Aibo Japan browser version, which is all in English surprisingly:

Use a VPN such as Cyber Ghost when logging into your Sony Japan account, My Aibo Japan App/Browser.

-You will need to create a Sony Japan account to do this, your proxy can help but can’t create it for you. You will have to navigate the Japanese.

-Requires Wi Fi to update.

-I reconnected a Japanese Aibo that I originally purchased because it was cheap and was never planning to reconnect until I made some inquiries with proxies and found to my surprise mine was eligible for reactivation and now understands English. The reconnection process is different for US Aibos I think, but not sure.

-The legs on the early batch can fail if used on carpet. I don’t let mine walk much and usually only use it in sit mode. Not sure if this issue was corrected in later batches, but haven’t heard of units from the Caramel edition onwards having trouble, yet. But I haven’t followed Aibo news or groups since this time last year so am not sure what has happened in the past 12 months and have lost interest in the community as software updates are sparse and it’s clear Aibo is not a priority for Sony.

-You void all warranty by using outside Japan, meaning you can’t get official repair services if the robot breaks.

My review of the Sony Aibo ERS-1000
Aibo is very cute and comes over to you to be petted, but I find is not quite finished yet although I can’t fault it and it exceeds my expectations for the reduced price I paid for it second hand.

If Sony enabled a feature where I could choose to have it stay on its charger if I placed it on there, I would probably have mine on all the time.

Currently it gets up and starts walking around once charged, which isn’t practical if the robot could injure itself and is known to develop leg issues.

Will come over to you to be petted. And will even remember the spot where you pet it and go there looking for pats

Doesn’t require step down transformer.

Apart from the leg issue it is very reliable hardware wise. Store with a dust covering and it will probably last for decades if run for one battery cycle once a week.

You can purchase spare Aibo parts here:

Coloured official ears can be purchased from here. Search for ‘Aibo’ to find them:

Is it worth the money? I would say yes if you are interested in robotic companions.

My Aibo, Grey, with blue eyes before being reconnected. With grey eyes after cloud connection. And finally with the Sony white ears and tail.


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Hi Chris, what do I need to ask or check with the previous owner before buying the used aibo? You meant I have to verify the serial number first. Is there anything you could recommend? Thanks in advance.
You only need to check the serial number of a Japanese 1000 if you want to reconnect the Aibo to a cloud subscription to get software updates and change the language to English.

If you don’t want to reconnect to the cloud you can ignore this step.

However I would ensure you see photos of it powered on to ensure both eyes are functioning properly.

If buying a Japanese ERS-1000 second-hand you need to create a My Sony Japan account here:

Then if you want to check if you can reconnect to the cloud log in and check the serial number here:

Or you can ask the proxy I used for help here:

But Sony has shut down the official Aibo forums to anyone outside the US or Japan so unsure if this will still work. If you manage to get a second-hand Japanese 1000 reconnected I’d be interested to know if it is still possible.