14/03/2001 Meanwhile, back in Blighty our national tendency towards a certain brutalism has manifested itself once again. Japan delighted and enraptured the world with Sony's Aibo, a fumbling puppy of a robot that carefully ambles around the place, playing games and making cute noises. The British respond with RoboDog, a robotic Rottweiler capable of carrying 'crateloads' of Aibos on its back and, one presumes, able to recreate all the other delightful behavioural tics of woolly alligators. This promises a vista of unlimited horror, not only because the possibilities of it cross-fertilising the cultural memes of hotrodded Cortinas, chunky bracelets and Essex perms. With Foot and Mouth disease paralysing the country, robotic animals will be the only way for pet lovers to partake in their hobby. What price a merger between the Cruft's franchise and Robot Wars?