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Second Generation Aibo Specs Officially Released 148

pastie writes "The second generation Sony Aibo now has a full and glorious specification at the Aibo homepage. "
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Second Generation Aibo Specs Officially Released

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  • I know this is supposed to be a new robot and all, but this design makes Aibo look less like a friendly pet.

    Compare the ERS-110's to the new ERS-210's and you'll see what I mean.

  • From The new ERS-210 model, shipments of which will begin in December, is based on the appearance of a baby lion and features more movement and sensors than the first model, a greater range of emotions, limited voice recognition and the ability to take digital photographs.
  • It'll be a babe magnet with them wanting to pet your Aibo ;-0

    No, realy baby, that's my name for it...yeah,.. that's it....

  • To all those people comparing this to a real dog, remember:-

    An Aibo is for Christmas NOT for life!


    (for those outside UK, this is a play on the tagline from the xmas RSPCA campaign in the UK ;)

  • by ichimunki ( 194887 ) on Thursday October 12, 2000 @01:13PM (#710295)
    Forget comparing this to live animals, what a waste of grey matter. How does this compare to other semi-interactive electronic pet types of things or robotic amusements? Is this cooler than remote control cars? Does this beat the hackeresque Palm robot? Is this more fun than Lego Mindstorm? Does this thing even come close to being as fun as a Tamagotchi (which is really setting the bar pretty low)?
  • What's the password to get into the Top Secret section? It says its on the owners guide

  • How come you have to shove the PC cards up his ass?

    "Oh dear, honey get the pooper-scooper the dog is crapping out his 56K modem again."
  • No, you really could come up with some meaningful, simple algorithm. Like, I dunno, map electron spin to the binary system. Or distribution of electrons in their orbital shells. Whatever. The point is, you can develop a real, tangible connection btw. these behaviors and the test. You don't have to just come up with some AI. For that matter, come up with some entirely different example if you wish. I'm just trying to say that maybe the Turing test isn't all it's cracked up to be. By trivializing this concept, you miss an important philosophical implication. Not that the trivialization wasn't funny. :)

    Wraithmaster [] -- Chicken soup for the spleen.

  • Where is the MPEG of it walking around someones house?

    Take a look at Ella the Cat's homepage []. OK, it's the original Aibo, but the movies are MPEG so you don't need a weird codec, and it is our house it's walking around.

  • do you really think they would tell you about it? Of course not! They have have a hidden camera and lan connection that they tried to keep a secret.

    Care about freedom?
  • I really hope they have all read their science fiction. I don't think I want a Real Dog Personality robot.

    There is nothing worse than a depressed dog.

  • It would be cool if they made just a robot hand instead of a dog.

    You could program to do sign language. Or just flip people off.
  • Interesting. Sony should have called it a shishi then, if it's being modeled afer a lion. Aibo ERS-110 was meant to be a friend/companion robot, which is why they called it an Aibo. :)
  • you gotta moderate that one up :-)
  • On the other hand, when you get tired of it and can't dedicate the necessary time to taking care of your pet, the parts can be recycled and reused... plus you don't have a dead dog on your hands when it dies of negligence or the guilt associated with having put a pet to sleep once the novelty of owning the pet wears off.
  • I seriously do not know how Sony can expect to sell anything this incomplete! This AIBO is just another example of Sony neglecting to include the features most desired in a Robot Companion. It has no apron, the blinking red lights aren't sticking out of it's neck, and I suspect that those plastic hooves don't have wheels hidden under them...
  • The "AIBO" ERS-210 has 20 degrees of freedom, giving it realistic movement, allowing AIBO to flap it's ears, wag it's tail and make cute and energetic gestures.

    I'll be shure to keep my leg at a 10 degree angle or less......

  • A digital camera in the nose? A wireless LAN connection?

    Even better than Furbies... I can see that the FBI will have to update their banned equipment list for Federal Buildings.

    Now someone needs to strap a Furby onto an Aibo 2, and send them into an FBI office or SS post.

    Of course, you'd have to plan on being talked to for a while... These people have no sense of humor...
  • Crap all over the place.
    Devour tons of expensive food.
    Visit the vet.
    Refuse to learn new tricks once it gets old.
  • Well, I'm glad the tail is "equipped with LEDs". Otherwise, it just wouldn't be worth it, eh?

    As a matter of fact, I think we should all have blinking lights on our asses!

    girl: "Were you just staring at my butt?!"
    guy: "Oh, uh... No... I was, uh... just distracted by the lights..."

  • Maybe I missed it earlier, but what surprised me most was the beginning of retail sales at brick-n-mortar stores. Looks like only Sony Style and Sharper Image for now (at least, in the U.S.), but that's a big change from the online-only sales in the past.

    Model numbers even. Now we can expect "upgrades" with new version numbers and minor pointless configuration changes, just like stereos and TVs (and WinDoze :-). Dr. Doi (the head of the D-21 lab at Sony HQ) must be sitting pretty. Not quite Kutaragi (of Playstation fame) levels of prestige, but still doing quite well.

    And they haven't even released the coolest stuff yet (and no, I can't talk about it - even though I don't work there any more, NDAs still apply).


  • boy i'd love to see a beowulf cluster of these!!!

  • Imagine a Beowulf cluster of trolls joking about Beowulf clusters :-)
  • The thing costs around $2000. A real pure bread dog or cat costs only a few hundred. Can this thing:

    • Crap and pee on your nice carpet?
    • Require expensive trips to the vet?
    • Eat like there's no tomorrow?
    • Shed all over your clothes?
    • Get loose, chase after a cat, and get run over by a car?
  • by RhetoricalQuestion ( 213393 ) on Thursday October 12, 2000 @01:37PM (#710315) Homepage

    Second: I'll buy one when it's capable of being a guard dog, a la Snow Crash. I'd love to see the neighbors get mangled by my nuclear attack dog!

    Well, if you look here, [] you'll see that "AIBO learns from your praise or scolding. Praise it for playing with its ball, and it will enjoy playing with the ball more than ever. But if you scold AIBO when it is only looking at the ball, it will soon ignore the ball altogether."

    So I suppose if you scold it when it's around you, it will ignore you, but if you praise it when it's around the neighbours, it will go after the neighbours.

    Some computerized weaponry and a little bit of hacking later, you have a psychologically-warped little robot dog that's armed to the teeth.

  • From looking at the page above it seems this is a glorified version of a Furby.

    It is *not* something I would compare to an Aibo. (No joints in it's legs, no camera, no advanced behaviour AI etc.)

    But hey, $30 is cheap, buy one to freak out the ducks in the park or something. ;-)
  • The thing costs around $2000. A real pure bread dog or cat costs only a few hundred. Can this thing:
    • Be used to attrack women?

    You mean you don't think this thing would attract geek members of the opposite sex? I do...

  • Someone will probably install Linux on him and then hook him up to a sewing machine for slave labor.

    Worse yet, some sadist will install Windows on him just to see him writhe in agony, and perish with a hideous blue scream of death.

  • Looking over the emotion system, it looks like the AIBO uses a similar yet simplifed emotional system to MIT's Kismet... a few basic emotions, each with varying degrees that interact with each other to produce more complex emotions and behaviors.

  • Because it would be hell to clean the oil stains on the carpet.
  • A lot of the teams in robocups Aibo division have reprogramed the robots walks and vision processing systems to be more efficient. Here is a quote from the match report of the grand final from this years winners (UNSW United []) - :

    The French walk seemed largely unchanged since last year, when they had an advantage over our robots, as their walk was stronger, and they often knocked our robots over in pursuit of the ball. This year the tables were turned, as the new UNSW walk was much faster and stronger than the LRP walk. Often in the Legged League robots will tangle their legs, but this year UNSW was often able to pull free and continue pursuit of the ball.

    I think the previous couple of years the winners had been the ones who had done the best job of reprogramming the vision processing system.

  • by slothdog ( 3329 ) <> on Thursday October 12, 2000 @11:24AM (#710322) Homepage
    their choice of location for the "PC Card Slot" is rather amusing. (Or disgusting, depending on your sense of humor levels....)
  • Am I really the first with the idea of training Aibo to chase and destroy CueCats?
  • And did you see the location of the battery PACK? That's a macho.

    I'm sure they are going to release Mrs Aibo (or Aiby?). According to some company leaks, the PC card in Aiby will be almost in the same location, may be a little lower. The difference is that will accept double sized cards.


  • I'm glad the release cycle is going so quickly, for you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
  • First:
    Goto the pound, and get a much better pet, for quite a bit less. They actually need homes.

    I'll buy one when it's capable of being a guard dog, a la Snow Crash. I'd love to see the neighbors get mangled by my nuclear attack dog!

  • It comes as no surprise that sony included a memory stick slot.

    However, I am just a little surprised to see that they've also included a type 2 PC card slot, as the functionality of these two i/o options overlaps in many ways. Admittedly, there are PC card options uses that the memory stick hasn't been used for yet.

    It's nice to see that Sony isn't so intent on pushing its own technology that it'll refuse to use more standard hardware as well. In their laptop computer offerings that kind of philosophy is a given, but the AIBO is a real example of what I am talking about.

  • by eric2hill ( 33085 ) <eric AT ijack DOT net> on Thursday October 12, 2000 @11:44AM (#710328) Homepage
    Me: "Hello, Sony?"
    Sony: "Yes, this is Sony technical support. How can I help you?"
    Me: "Well, I bought this robo-dog for a couple grand a few months ago and it was pretty slick."
    Sony: "Was?"
    Me: "Well, you see, Spot started following me around wanting to play ball."
    Sony: "And?"
    Me: "I was playing ball in the pool with my kids and Spot jumped off the diving board trying to fetch the ball. You know, metal sinks like a rock. Spot doesn't even sniff himself anymore. He just kind of sits there and twitches. Is that simulated hypothermia? Can I get him fixed or do I need to put him out of his misery?"
    Sony: "Sorry, stupidity isn't listed on the warranty card."

  • Some of the software interfaces with your PC, but you still need a PC card reader or a mem stick reader for your PC. Wouldn't it be simpler to add a serial or USB port to the thing... hell put it right inder the tail and label it I/O interface :)
  • The new Aibo could be considered the start of user robotics (as opposed to industrial robotics).

    The first Aibo can be compared to the Commodore PET and Apple I. Almost zero expandibility and functionality, but a computer you could buy. The homebrew computer builders of course are equivalent to the homebrew robotics builders of today.

    The second generation Aibo is more like the Apple II, TRS-80 & Commodore 64. More functionality and almost assured to get many people to start actively using and programming it.

    The next generation will be more like the IBM PC. Something where you can actually consider changing not only hardware but also the OS (remember you could get CP/M as well as DOS). Don't forget respectability (GM? Ford? Sony? AOL?!)

    Ultimately we will be able to roll our own hardware (choice of motherboards, processors, chassis, actuators, drive, etc) and OS/Apps (Embedded Linux, vision software, viris, etc.). As always their will be the user friendly robotics with their colourful transparent cases!

    We may even have a Linus T. of the robot era in grade school right now.
  • hound dogs. Do you think this one will stand up to falling deck timbers?

    Looks hard to train. Probably can't teach it to hole a rabbit too easily.

  • by cr0sh ( 43134 )
    This thing will more than likely cost between $1000-$2000 - I think I would rather spend the money on a Mindstorms [] set and some parts from Pitsco-Lego-Dacta [], then head over here []
    Long live MIBO!!!

    I support the EFF [] - do you?
  • Sony's AIBO may succeed in Japan where anything will sell, including soiled schoolgirl uniforms in vending machins (no, I'm not kidding)

    But you can also get beer, liquor, ramen noodles, Pocky, and pr0n from Japanese vending machines.
    IMHO, Amerika really needs to import some of this amazing vending machine technology.
    That and smartcards. We really need smartcards.

    And just to stay slightly on topic, the Poo-Chi doesn't seem nearly as advanced as any Aibo,
    not to mention you can't stick a PCMCIA card up it's arse.

  • A Siameze cat, I can tell you from the pics and the specs... now if it purrs....

    WolfSkunks for a better Linux Kernel
  • So do they have add-ons yet? You know, useful stuff, like drink-holders and remote-control finders?

    What about screw-on spikes for the post-apocalyptic punk look? I don't want no sissy-ass Aibo, I want something that can beat the shit out of my neighbor's Aibo and the Palm robot [] across the street.

  • Geeezzzz... and I thought Cujo was bad!
  • Isn't it interesting that the first thing many people (including me) wanted to say about a robot pet that brings up many philosophical issues about the meaning of life compared to mechanical replacements is that the PC Card slot is in a funny location?
  • Sony would be shooting themselves in the foot to include reproductive functionality. Then people could get Aibo puppies for free!
  • And along comes someone to prove my point.
  • by Pope Slackman ( 13727 ) on Thursday October 12, 2000 @11:45AM (#710340) Homepage Journal
    "Umm...I think your robot dog is humping your computer..."

    "No, he's just uploading data."

    "Don't tell me. He uses burst transfers, right?"


  • by hrieke ( 126185 ) on Thursday October 12, 2000 @11:47AM (#710341) Homepage
    Now you don't have to worry about the dog watching you have sex, but the whole world.
  • Hey, my dog just barfed up a piece of turkey on my rug, then started to lick his balls. He also likes to smell his own farts. And when I yell at him, he wets himself. Can Sony make its overpriced furby do that? hmmmm?

    Man, I wish I had an Aibo.

  • That's because it's NOT a freindly pet, it's a robot. Anyone who spends $2500 on something, is NOT buying a cute widdle puppy. Besides, a response to one of my posts tells me that officialy, this model is designed after a baby lion, not so much a dog.

  • by SigVn ( 166099 )
    Has anybody ever actully used one off these.....

    Any fun
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, 2000 @11:49AM (#710345)
    A real pure bread dog or cat costs only a few hundred

    Actually, you can probably knead a pure bread dog (or cat, for that matter) with buying a couple loaves of bread from the nearest Safeway and softening it with water. You can leave it soft if you're a cat person with a longing for a warm, fuzzy cat, or bake it at 400F for that hard Doberman look.

    A purebred dog can be more fun since it's actually alive, and it can lick you in the face, catch a frisbee and all.
  • Carefull, you'll get a "rise" out of him

  • I guess "AIBO is a friend for life." sounded better than "AIBO is a friend for exactly as long as he has to in order to not get returned, so after those 90 days, watch your ass and secure your valuables."

  • For a useful artificial pet check out:

    Real Hamster []

  • >Sony is hardly "Microsoft's lapdogs";

    Visit the "Sony" Metreon next time you're in downtown SF.

    It's rathar sad actually, that even a company like Sony is forced to whore themselves out to gates like that. But then... given Sony's more recent actions, I've developed a distince lack of sympathy for Sony themselves.


    Resistance is NOT futile!!!

    I am not a drone.
    Remove the collective if

  • But I have yet to really get good info. Sure, tech specs and algorithms are a turn on, but not a sale. Where is the MPEG of it walking around someones house?
    The only way sony offers to get detailed specs is to sign up. Is it me, or is this ridiculous? When was the last time you had to give your name address and phone number to a store before they let you shop there? Why would Sony be interesting in turning people away like this? It seems like they are hiding the real info because product isn't half as good as the specs.
  • I think this thing might go to the Gift Graveyard (be it the attic or the city landfill) all over the US. This thing looks more like an executive brown-nosing gift, from the price and implied demographic target. I think that after the Furby incident, the whole of American society has been spooked away from robotic toys. Like someone earlier brought up, this "companion" could just be a very cute espionage device.

    Just yesterday, I saw a Japanese game on the PlayStation demo machine. I called over my friend Josh, who has learned Japanese, and asked him if he could translate the title screen. He didn't remember the proper name, but he translated literally: "I am the chef." This game puts the player in the position of diner chef. You have to boil ramen and cut vegetables. You even have to pour the bee... ahem, sake the right way. Is it just me, or does this seem like Sony has developed a covert way of hypnotizing the American children into servitude? I'd be very paranoid if the "Chin'PokoMon" scenario became reality.

  • Ah, but if you stick a wireless LAN card in the PC slot, you have remote control AIBO. Make AIBO walk. Make AIBO play. Make AIBO take photos in places he shouldn't...
  • Not only do I want one of these puppies, but it is actually a puppy.

    Any chance of the first gen coming down in price, or will they simply not manufacturing any more?

    This is not to say I have anything worthwhile to contribute to the discussion though.

  • Ah, but if you have your AIBO hooked into your wirless network hooked to your always-on DSL internet connection, what's to stop AIBO checking-in with his real master, whether that's Sony, the CIA or whoever gave you AIBO as a present?
  • by Refrag ( 145266 )
    So, how much is this puppy going to set me back? ;)

  • When I saw a quick snippet of it on the news, it looked no more interesting than those dogs you see in toy stores that flip around, etc. This is just a bit more advanced. It walked around a bit haphazardly and made all sorts of whining sounds from the stepper motors.

    I'd rather spend $2000 on a beowulf cluster of Lego Mindstorms sets and make a 1/2 scale Dalek(hey, they even have a camera for Lego now!) and be my own Davros.
  • "Pack", not "herd".
  • Actually, it'll only cost $1,500 according to C|Net [].
    It's a decent article. Check it out.

    Why is an AIBO k3wl3r than a real dog?
    It won't freak out my cats.
  • sorry I couldn't resist with new version numbers and minor pointless configuration changes, just like stereos and TVs (and WinDoze :-). and linux ;)

    let it be known I'm running debian 2.2 and win98 so it's not a flame.. it's funny.
  • Poo-Chi? Do they have a web page? Never heard of it.
  • "Aibo needs it's memory stick to perform!"


    - A.P.

    * CmdrTaco is an idiot.

  • I saw an AIBO knock-off for about $45 at Walgreens last night. Has anyone played with one of those?

  • I think we're jumping to conclusions here... here I go also.

    The image sensor need not be very detailed in order for Aibo to appear visually responsive/intelligent. Only, a few tens (or at best, hundreds) of cells per dimension would be necessary to perceive obstacles, hand motion signals, or gross contrast changes for night/day detection, for example. I suspect one function might be too discern when Aibo has been covered (like in a blanket, box, or skirt (oops!)).

    However, I think it would be exceedingly cool if a rudimentary sense of smell were incorporated in the nose. (see above "oops").

  • I prefer my pets to last a little longer...

    "Excuse me, please, I have to go recharge my dog..."

  • Check out what happens when you view this URL [] with Netscape under Linux (version 4.72 is what I'm using). Or get to the results manually with this link [].

    Here's a snippet of the javascript responsible for the mis-viewing:

    var agt=navigator.userAgent.toLowerCase();
    var isWin = agt.indexOf('win') != -1;
    var isMac = agt.indexOf('mac') != -1;

    if (isWin) { }
    else if (isMac) parent.location="macindex.html";
    else parent.location="index_unsupported.html";

    For even more entertainment value, check out what you see if you go to macindex.html []. ;)

  • No, a streaming protocol.
  • [] has more information on the robot.
  • That has got to be the WORST place you could think of putting a PC Slot on anything that looks even remotely like an animal. I just wouldn't be able to do it.. i'd fell... dirty.

    sign me up! :o)
  • December 2000 - The Sony Abio's come online, all human decisions are removed from daily life.

    March 13, 2001, 3:34am - The Sony Abio's become self-aware, humans try to pull the plug but it's too late, The Abio's strikes back.

  • by Lord Ender ( 156273 ) on Thursday October 12, 2000 @12:37PM (#710378) Homepage
    Yes you are right. Think of all the personal info they could gain with that thing. All they would have to do is drive a little black van within about 200 feet of your house (the range of most wireless LAN cards these days). Then they would have to control the dog over the network so that they can maneuver it into position so it doesnt just take pictures of walls and such. Then they take the picture (of what?) and download it over the LAN.

    Yep, that sure is a great way to collect data on customers. Drive to their houses and control dogs and have them take pictures of toilets or wallpaper or people's feet. Every big company would kill to get this kind of great marketing information! And they get it so easily, too!

  • Actually, I think Rob got his Aibo pre-Andover - he traded it for Slashdot advertising, which is why you saw so many AIBO ads on Slashdot, even months after it sold out. Maybe Sony should have saved a few of the impressions for this next introduction?


  • by -=Izzy=- ( 80039 ) <> on Thursday October 12, 2000 @11:28AM (#710390) Homepage
    I dont know about the rest of you guys .. but i dont feel quite comfortable with the positioning of the battery pack.

    i can just see it now.

    Is your dogs batteries falling out ? or is he just happy to see me??
  • The Aibo seems like a pretty lightweight design to me, and it doesn't seem to support much programming either.

    For someone with geeky leanings, building or buying a mobot platform would give you something that's just as good around the house, is a lot more robust, and allows lots of actually interesting things to be done with it.

  • by RedX ( 71326 ) <redx@wideop[ ] ['enw' in gap]> on Thursday October 12, 2000 @11:29AM (#710392)
    A digital camera in the nose? A wireless LAN connection? Am I being overly paranoid or should we be concerned that Sony can now snap "spy" photos from in our houses and easily retrieve them over the Internet? Based on Sony's history, I wouldn't say this is too far-fetched. Imagine the mountains of personal info they could gather with this thing.
  • There's a couple of obvious "har har check out where the PC card goes" posts, but consider the potential tastelessness of having an interface prong stuck underneath AIBO so that it'd have to do the "happy to see you leg manoever" to transfer data.

    Considering the sense of humor of some engineers, thank heaven for small mercies.
  • I had a neighbor that's dog was so scared of him that it would shit itself (literally, it wouldn't take the time to 'squat' first) every time it saw him.<br><br>
    If they can program a 'scare the shit out of it' mode, I'd buy one for him just so he could remember his little doggy.
  • This is most likely poo-chi, which unfortunately doesn't look all that great:

    epinions on poo-chi []

    AIBO has gotten a much better response:

    epinions on Aibo []

    Hope that helps.


  • by SMN ( 33356 )
    I can't seem to find any information about price or availability on the AIBO site - I can't afford one anyway, but since the first run sold out thousands in mere hours (at $2,000 a piece!) and the second run was done through a lottery-like drawing, I'm wondering how this one will be sold.
  • Let's see, possibly a REAL DOG with a REAL PERSONALITY. Something that's fun to play with and entertaining and won't run out of batteries to boot. Sure there's a little more responsibility in a real dog, but a $2000.00 fake dog is almost totally insane. I can't believe some people buy these things.
  • Seriously, the "old" Aibo isn't that old. I still remember Rob drooling over them before the Andover acquisition (read: when Rob got The Money). I didn't really pay that much attention to the original specs: how much is this model "improved"?

    To me, the idea of a pet obsoleting at the same rate as my computer is frightening...

    "Sorry, spot, we had some good times together but...well the new models are out now, and this year they're *translucent blue*. I just really can't be held back by old technology anymore. You understand, don't you, boy? Maybe Mom and Dad will find a home for you with some needy children who can't afford the latest model..."

    Actually, having a robotic pet at all strikes me as a bit cold, so I guess this product isn't aimed at people like me. Live and learn.

  • Someone will probably install Linux on him and then hook him up to a sewing machine for slave labor.

  • by linuxonceleron ( 87032 ) on Thursday October 12, 2000 @11:33AM (#710415) Homepage
    I have found the Poo-Chi to be superior to both the old AIBO and the new model. The Poo-Chi does not contain the complexity of the AIBO, which makes it walk slowly. The Poo-Chi is also a much better value, costing about $30. It allows full computer connection and fast walking, two things that the AIBO lack. Sony's AIBO may succeed in Japan where anything will sell, including soiled schoolgirl uniforms in vending machins (no, I'm not kidding), but the US is a much more conservative market when it comes to spending $2000.
  • Now when they start selling Great Dane versions, that's when it will really start getting interesting!

    All you'd have to do is write your own little mailman identification script, and ta da! What a grand home movie that would make! You could even watch from the dog's point of view!

  • Heh dumbass! Did you read my comment? I already did that and I still have to select it every single time I post a comment.

    Fucking idiots around here are really starting to piss me off!
  • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Thursday October 12, 2000 @12:56PM (#710426) Homepage Journal

    If you hack Aibo, you're just a hacker.

    If you hack a real dog, you're a mad scientist and people call the ASPCA.

  • it's the yeast I can do.......

  • is it just me, or dose this generation look more like a cat? Anyone know if they tweeked the programing at all? There was a story from the robot games recently, featuring Abido, that stated they moved much better if you scrubed and re-did their programing from the ground up.

  • The thing costs around $2000. A real pure bread dog or cat costs only a few hundred. Can this thing:

    • Lick you in the face?
    • Catch a frisbee?
    • Go swimming with you?
    • Be used to attrack women?

    For me, the technology is too limited to warrant a $2K price tag.

  • I suppose I should reserve judgement until I actually see one, but I think they're going to ruin AIBO by making it too gimmicky.

    I've had a dog and he didn't need any coloured LEDs to let me know when he was happy, sad, or upset. An AIBO that looks sad by skulking around and not wagging it's tail is likely to get my sympathy, but an AIBO that flashes red lights at me would just be annoying. I wouldn't like a person who shouted "I'm happy now!" or "I'm sad now!" constantly, a robot that was that blatent would have me reaching for the power button ASAP.

    Rather than add silly/gimicky features I'd rather they concentrated on things that would make AIBO more useful. Maybe a "call the police" or "call an ambulance" feature. A built-in GPS would be cool too: "AIBO, take me to the nearest pub."

An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.