It may be a case of art imitating life with the next generation of Hong Kong's belching, dancing Robosapien, which is armed with artificial intelligence and a personality to rival Stars Wars' C3PO. Robosapien V2 - developed by Mark Tilden and his Tsim Sha Tsui-based team at WowWee - can see, hear and speak. These features are a rudimentary form of artificial intelligence absent in the robot's first incarnation, which has sold 1.5 million units worldwide since it made its debut in September. 'The original Robosapien was the perfect robot minion, but it only obeyed your every command,' Dr Tilden said. 'V2 has its own personality, and every now and again he will just get up and start walking around by himself.' The robot's colourful phrases, complementing the standard array of belches and other bodily functions inherited from its older brother, include 'Eat my diode' and 'Group hug'. Sophisticated programming allows the V2 to analyse visual stimuli and recognise objects such as balls, cups and cans. It may pick up these items and throw them away, or carry them to whoever is holding its wireless control pad, while audio receptors allow it to respond to and track noises. The robot can also extend its human-sized hands to collect an object, saying, 'Gimme, gimme, gimme'. But beware, the V2 will get annoyed if its user repeatedly presses the same button on its remote control. The inventors believe its personality is on a par with the fictitious droid C3PO. And just like C3PO's relationship with chirpy sidekick R2D2, Robosapien V2 can interact with companions. WowWee has developed two of these - Roboraptor, a dinosaur-like creature with sensors across its body that respond to touch, sound or movement, and Robopet, which can sit, lie down and roll over. 'Now that we've got robots playing with each other, the next thing we can do is get rid of children,' joked Phillip Duffy, creative director for WowWee. Compared to its predecessor, the V2 has a neck that allows its head to turn and track moving objects, and he stands about 25cm higher, at 60cm. Its body has also gained more movement in its various joints with the addition of 14 individual motors - twice as many as were used in the original design. The more advanced mechanics allow it to sit down, stand up, or lie down and watch television with children. The V2 is expected to be priced at $2,000, considerably higher than the $699 that was asked for its previous incarnation. Its inventors insist that the upgrades will make the V2 'four times the robot'. Roboraptor and Robopet will retail for at least $1,000 and $700, respectively. The Hong Kong-born V2 and its friends are expected to begin invading toy-store shelves around the world in October. Meanwhile, Dr Tilden said the company was working on a third-generation robot that will recognise voice commands, eliminating the need to use a control pad.