Underscoring its vision to bring a new form of entertainment into every European household, Sony Entertainment Robot Europe today announced the launch of a new line of entertainment robots, to be known as the AIBO LM series [ERS-311/312]. Named "LATTE" and "MACARON" to reflect their respective hue, robots in the AIBO LM series include new features such as a 75- word vocabulary, increased photo-taking options, new AIBO tonal language options as well as interactive sensors. The new AIBO LM series will be available in ivory (LATTE) and grey (MACARON). Pre-sale orders will be accepted starting on Oct. 1, with the loveable new models made available through the internet (www.aibo.com) from beginning of November. With its distinct design, developed by world-renowned visual creator Katsura Moshino, the AIBO LM series is differentiated from its predecessors by its friendlier, more cuddly look. Sony expects this design concept to expand the appeal of the product to a broader market. "The AIBO LM series marks the beginning of a product line-up expansion, which addresses the future role of home entertainment robotics and covers the desire of a broader and diversified range of consumers," said Nicolas Babin, General Manager of Sony Entertainment Robot Europe. "The sales of both the 1st and 2nd generation AIBO helped us grasp customers' motivations for their purchase and understand their requirements. In addition, Sony identified the expectations from the market for an even more interactive and "softer" character of AIBO, alongside the current models. Therefore, we are confident that the new series will significantly contribute to deliver on our vision of enhancing the world of entertainment robots," he added. The new series features touch sensors on the head and under the paws, similar to the popular 2nd Generation AIBO [ERS-210], providing for varying degrees of response and contact as well as a new tail sensor. The new robots are equipped with 15 degrees of freedom (head x 3, 4 legs x 3), enabling smooth body movement, along with a tail switch for friendly interaction. Users are able to develop AIBO's personality with progressive interaction. The AIBO LM series introduces several new features for interaction, including an RGB (red, green, blue) light on the robot's head that produces multi-coloured independent blinking illuminations. This allows the robot to express a variety of emotions. As with the current AIBO entertainment robot in the market [ERS-210/ERS-111], AIBO's motions are driven by the Sony Memory Stick Software. "AIBO Life" AIBO-ware Software AIBO acts as a fully autonomous robot that makes independent decisions about its own actions and behaviour through the Memory Stick software application called "AIBO Life". With the use of "AIBO Life", the robot has the ability to mature from infant to adult learning new behaviours based on increased interaction with humans and its environment. "AIBO Pal" AIBO-ware Software The "AIBO Pal" software brings to life a fully mature companion, allowing users to immediately experience the full range of mature AIBO features. As with the popular "AIBO Life" software, users are able to develop the personality of their own robots with progressive interaction, without spending time to raise an AIBO to maturity. "AIBO Life" / "AIBO Pal" Key Features Voice Recognition: :: 75-word vocabulary :: Learns and responds to the name it is given :: Learns the name of its owner Photo Taking Capabilities: :: Saves JPEG images onto Memory Stick upon command :: Motion detection photography ("AIBO Pal" only) This feature enables AIBO to take a photo if it detects a motion with its built-in camera, while seated on an energy station Tonal Language: :: AIBO Melody: Control AIBO's pitch with hand motions :: Humming Mode: Compose a melody with AIBO :: Mimic Mode: AIBO will repeat your words in its tonal language :: Interacts and responds to other AIBO robots (LM series, AIBO 2nd Generation [ERS-210]) AIBO Entertainment Robot LM Series Includes: AIBO [ERS-311/12] Robot, Stand, AC Adapter, Special Lithium Ion Battery, Pink Ball and Manual. AIBO LM Series Accessories (sold separately) A variety of AIBO-ware Memory Stick applications. :: AIBO Life [ERF-301AW01]: Autonomous Application Software :: AIBO Pal [ERF-301AW06]: Mature Software :: Energy Station Core [ERA-301P2] :: Portable Charger [ERA-301P4] :: Special Lithium Ion Battery [ERA-301B1] :: Carrying Bag [ERA-210C1] Sales Schedule :: Pre-Order: Begins Oct. 1, 2001 :: Purchase: AIBO/ Delivery: From beginning of November 2001 :: Price: EUR 980 (excl. VAT) How to Purchase an AIBO ERS-311/312 :: Internet: http://www.aibo.com :: Telephone (Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm CET): English line: +44-20-73 65 29 38 German line: +49-69-95 08 63 10 French line: +33-1-55 69 51 18 About Sony Sony manufactures audio, video, communications and information technology products for the global consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, game and online businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to become a leading personal broadband entertainment company in the 21st century. In Europe Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of EUR 14.90 billion (yen 1,473,780 million) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2001, based on an average market exchange rate for the same period of yen 98.9 to the EUR. Sony Europe, headquartered at the Sony Center am Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, is responsible for the company's European electronics business and registered consolidated sales of EUR 10.37 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2001. For more information on Sony Europe, please visit http://www.sony-europe.com For further information regarding Sony in Europe, please contact: Sylvia Shin Corporate Communications Europe Sony Europe GmbH tel: +49 30 2575 5156 fax: +49 30 2575 5174 email: email@example.com http://www.sony-europe.com/presscenter In addition, for any queries about Sony in your respective country, please contact your local Sony PR office.