"It's twins!", says Sony

Congratulations Aibo, on the arrival of two robo-pups, Latte and Macaron, set for an online launch, October 1st, and widely tipped to spark yet another bout of entertainment robot fever.

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By  Justin Etheridge Published  September 16, 2001

Congratulations Aibo, on the news of your healthy, bouncing twins: two new robo-pups from Sony, to launch on October 1st, are set to spark another bout of Aibo fever.

Latte is available in an ivory finish, while Macaron is complete in his new grey coat. Each robotic companion is driven by a 64-bit RISC processor and 32MB RAM. Weighing 1.5kg, standing close to 30cm in height and costing $800 each (just over half that of the original), Sony is hoping to duplicate the previous Aibo phenomenon.

For those of you that cannot remember the hype, Aibo sold out globally in just less than 20 minutes.

Fortunately, the new pups are about more than irritatingly cute faces. Sony’s software bundle is more advanced than ever before: Latte and Macaron can recognise a grand total of 75 voice commands, 25 more than their old man Aibo.

Proprietary Memory Sticks allow for “personality (p)upgrades”, while improved motion detection photography is the result of a new micro camera implanted in their heads. Prospective owners can expect six different emotions: joy, sadness, anger, surprise, discontent and fear.

This technology is essentially built around the Aibo Life stick, recording data that allows Aibo to develop in response to its environment. Thus, it is possible to buy a ‘mature’ stick, bypassing all the teething troubles that naturally come with a young robotic pet. “If you often interact with Aibo, it becomes spoiled and, if you allow freedom, it becomes a bit mischievous,” says Sony.

Pre-sale orders will be taken on the Aibo website from October 1st. T2 contacted Sony Gulf for details of Latte and Macaron in the Middle East: when can we expect the dynamic duo in Dubai? “At this point we cannot confirm any more details.” So, you’ll have to watch this space.

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