A Real R2D2?

Finally, a household robot designed to ease the burdens of humankind. But does it really work?

I've always wanted a robot. So many drudge jobs in my life--doing the dishes, making coffee, harassing office neighbor Joel Stein--could just as easily be relegated to an R2D2-like servant. Until recently, though, the only robots I ever saw were in movies or, worse, in those spacecraft that carry aliens who abduct you and prod you with metallic objects that leave no visible scars.

That's all changed, apparently, with Sony's impossible-to-buy AIBO, a $2,500 robotic dog. Since I already have a somewhat cheaper pooch (Otto Quittner), I'm not interested. Also, no way would my wife let me spend $2,500 on something...

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