In the mid 2000s, I had written some code for the Aibo to let it read books aloud.
Flash forward toa couple years ago. My kids saw some video of me with the Aibo Reader project and wanted an Aibo of their own. Unfortunately, the Aibo as a product is dead. The batteries are now dying and irreplaceable (thanks to Sony and their idiotic insistence upon DRM - it's not enough to merely provide electrons, the battery must also know the secret handshake in order for the Aibo to accept it. Maddening!!!) And those few used Aibos that do have working batteries are dying from other issues related to mechanical failure (mostly clutches in the head/neck assy.) yet command a premium price.
So now, my kids still want an Aibo. I got to thinking about how far technology had come in the past 20 years, and started wondering to myself if I could build a facsimile with the RPi. Thus the birth of this little side-project.