Sony will unveil the successor to its highly popular Aibo entertainment robot next week, it said Friday. The company is keeping tight-lipped over details of the new Aibo but said Satoshi Amagai, president of Sony's entertainment robot division, and Tadashi Otsuki, deputy president of the same division, will be on hand to present it at a press conference scheduled for Thursday. The first generation Aibo, a dog-like robot with the ability to react to its surroundings, was an instant hit when Sony first took the wraps off the futuristic toy in 1999. It went on sale in June 1999 when Sony offered 3,000 of the devices to customers in Japan and 2,000 to those in North America. Accepting orders via the Internet only, they were sold out within minutes in Japan despite their price tag of around £2,000. The company sold a further 10,000 Aibo in late 1999 and earlier this year put more on the market.