CNN News - by Martyn Williams
January 26, 2000
TOKYO (IDG) -- Due to popular demand, Sony plans to sell
more of its dog-like Aibo entertainment robots in Japan,
Europe and North America, the company has announced. Unlike
the last two times when the company offered the product,
there will be no limit on the number of robots on sale but
Sony will limit when orders can be received.
In Japan, orders will be accepted by Sony Communications
Network from Feb. 15 to Feb. 25 for shipments beginning in
April. In addition to accepting orders by telephone and
Internet, Sony will also be accepting orders by mail.
The Aibo made headlines around the world in June 1999 when
Sony sold a limited number of the devices. Hailed as the
first robot produced for entertainment purposes, Sony
offered 3,000 of the devices to customers in Japan and 2,000
to those in North America -- accepting orders via the
Internet, they were sold out within minutes in Japan despite
their price tag of around $2,500.
The Aibo can react to its surroundings, recognize objects
and play like a real dog. It also comes programmed to learn
and will grow to become contented if the owner gives it the
same type of attention that a real dog craves.
After the huge success of the sale in June, Sony put another
batch on sale in November last year. That time it accepted
all orders made within the sale period and then held a
lottery for 10,000 of the robots. Again this failed to
satisfy demand. The company received 135,000 orders for the
limited number of pets available. In total, 132,000 orders
came from Japan, 2,000 from North America and 1,000 from
The device will cost 250,000 yen in Japan, $2,500 in North
America and 2,400 euros in Europe. Orders will be accepted
through the Sony Aibo homepage.
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