SONY decided to appeal more to the female demographic with the ERS-311 and ERS-312, released in September 2001. They have a distinctly comical pug-like appearance, a much rounder overall shape, and even feature a horn-like lamp for expressing emotions (similar to one of the early prototype conceptual models). They’re the only AIBOs to be marketed as a pair, with Sony even giving them cute names (Latte and Macaron) for the ad campaign, and sometimes referred to as “LM” models. Latte is said to have an “adorable” personality while Macaron is said to be “mischievous”.
Latte and Macaron could be described as budget AIBOs, at a price of $1000 each (compared to $1500 and $2500 for earlier models). This price reduction was possible due to lower specifications: they have 15 DOF instead of 20, and require an expansion stick for bluetooth LAN capabilities. However, like the ERS-220 they can understand 75 verbal commands and respond to sounds with their own audible chirps and melodies. A later model had a suede coat which covered most of its body, making it even more pleasant to pet and touch.
- SONY AIBO ERS-311 & ERS-312 Press Release (EN)
- SONY AIBO Europe (official site EN/FR/DE)
- AIBO ERS-311 @ AIBO Kennel (EN) (2)
SONY | Impress Robot Watch