Sony rolls out second generation robotic pet

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Tokyo--Sony Corp., which in June 1999 launched its robot dog Aibo, has unveiled a second generation robotic pet which the company claims has "a greater ability to express emotion for more intimate communication with people.''

The new Aibo has a more feline feel to it. It has additional movement in both ears and houses more touch sensors in its head, chin and back, which Sony says will help the pets show an "abundant array of emotions such as 'joy' and 'anger'.''

In order to increase interaction with people, the robo cat contains autonomous robot technology, which allows it to react to external stimulus and make its own judgements. Sony says the new pet has enhanced capabilities to learn and mature.

At the request of many Aibo owners, the new pets can recognize their own name, respond to a few simple words and take photos via a built-in camera.

The company will begin taking orders from Nov. 16 and this time around the company promises its electronic kennels will be well stocked. First deliveries are planned for early December.

In addition to Japan, the Aibo [ERS-210] will be available for $1,500 in Europe and the U.S. Pets will be sold via the Internet at (

Copyright October 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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