Sony's latest robot dogs are set to make their European debut with an appearance at Live 2001 on Friday.
Latte and Macaron, the new additions to the AIBO range, will be the centre of attention at the consumer electronics show, which will take place at the NEC in Birmingham between 21 and 23 September. Each, like Sony's earlier AIBO robot dog, can express emotions, understand voice commands and interact with humans, and the company believes Latte and Macaron will appeal to a wide range of consumers.
Even Microsoft's new operating system could struggle to compete with the charms of the two robot dogs. "The AIBO is tipped to be one of the star attractions at the show, closely rivaled by the first UK showing of Microsoft's long-awaited Windows* XP," said a Live2001 spokesman.
As well as offering more features than the previous AIBO, Latte and Macaron boast a newly-designed exterior. Sony has described them as "cute, cuddly and intelligent," and predicts they will appear on many Christmas present lists this December.
The robots will cost around £580 each. Consumers will be able to place an order at www.aibo.com from 1 October, and Sony is promising to start deliveries in November.
Other companies exhibiting at Live2001 include Palm -- which will be demonstrating new applications and products such as digital camera add-ons, Toshiba and Siemens, whose Roke Manor Research arm will be showing off Pocket DAB, its digital audio broadcast receiver.
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