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Robot rabbits take on Facebook, female orgasms

Poked by a rabbit, figuratively and literally

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One waits ages for a story about robotic carrot-crunchers, and then two turn up at once as Karotz the robot rabbit starts talking to Facebook while app-controlled vibrator Vibease looks to sell value-added orgasms.

Karotz is the older robot. Already capable of reading out a Twitter feed while cutely waggling its ears, it can now do the same with a Facebook account, and upload photographs taken from its belly-button camera, but Vibease is the more interesting – not because it's a Bluetooth-enabled vibrator – those are old news – but because it plans to make money selling linked content rather than relying on self-administered onanism.

Vibease product shot

Vibease will launch later this year, and plans to make money selling applications linked to its hardware. In a desperate attempt to get past Apple's censors, the company has been telling startups in Asia that the content will be "erotica", not porn, and no more explicit than content already in the iTunes store.

That's a nice idea, but the existing erotic content all comes from established brands, and Apple's line is that these brands (such as Playboy and FHM) provide an inherent warning about the associated content, while unknown companies haven't managed to get so much as an exposed nipple past Cupertino's prudery.

Karotz, meanwhile, has gained some Facebook integration, so ask it nicely and the rabbit will read out the Facebook feed just as it used to read out Twitter feeds before the two became all-but-indistinguishable. Butterscotch rather marvellously got Karotz to review itself, and provides a video explaining the product: "Basically I sit atop your desk, connected to your Wi-Fi, and try to boost your mood by being cute."

So once placed into "Facebook mode", Karotz will respond to voice commands to upload photographs, and record audio updates to your status. It will even respond to being poked, but not by a Vibease – that would be weird. ®

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