these really have to be seen if you're an owner of an Aibo:

http://www.asahi.com/video/031218run.wvx

http://pc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/2003/1218/sony_06.wmv

i think these videos speak for themselves. i'd love to get my hands on one of these and the programming environment for them. visions of Kraftwerk's Showroom Dummies fill my head - speaking of which, they've just started their first major world tour since 1981 (i flew to see them in San Francisco, Los Angeles and NYC in 1998 - that was half the cities that they played in the U.S., the rest of the tour consisted of three shows in Tokyo and two in Europe)...

btw, if you haven't heard there is now a SDK available for programming Aibo. It is free but despite its name, Open-R SDK, it is not open source, just a partially published set of APIs - the R seems to stand for research. While it allows you to program movement (as joint angles) and get data from its sensors, you would have to program your own voice and object recognition code.

got two comments from Belgium regarding my post (rant) yesterday. Mario Goebbels wrote about the problems he had with the Web form to get their national electronic ID. David Cumps suggested i do a Ctrl-a and Ctrl-c keysequence to select all text and copy to clipboard buffer before i hit the Post button for these blog entries. this became a regular practice for me when i first started posting replies to questions in the newsgroup that our group of presenters operate for our national series of developer seminars (researching answers sometimes took a while). this isn't really a solution though, merely a precautionary work-around for the user to have to remember that they are running a less-than-robustly-written Web application.

shout outs to the fellow members of our seminar presenter team who sent me welcome messages - Geoff Snowman who covers Mid-Atlantic and Paul Murphy who covers my former (but not missed) residential locale in the Pacific North-West.