Pleo – a $200 Dinosaur Robot – Available Fall ’06
“Pleo is equipped with senses for sight, sound, and touch. He learns as he explores his environment. He will exhibit genuine reactions to sensory stimuli. Every Pleo begins life with certain tendencies but, interaction with his environment has subtle effects on his behavior. Every Pleo eventually exhibits a unique personality.
Pleo is capable of expression. He can feel joy and sorrow, anger and annoyance. When Pleo is tired, he will become drowsy and go to sleep—even dream. Two or more Pleos will recognize one another. Be careful though. They can transmit colds to each other. Achoo! Pleo even sneezes!
Pleo is a one-week old infant Camarasaurus from the Jurassic period. Treat him gently like any other living thing. Your Pleo will let you know how he feels at any moment. That’s because he is capable of actual emotions including joy, aggression, sorrow, and fear. He can also yawn, sigh, sniff, sniffle, snore, cough, hiccup, and sneeze.
Pleo wants to explore his environment. He will be cautious when he walks to the edge of a table. He may cry when he is frightened. Pleo will stretch when he first wakes up. He may stomp his foot for food when hungry. When Pleo grows tired, lay him down and attach his ‘dream cord’ so he can sleep, dream, and gather energy for more exploration.”
Clearly, this thing will be more advanced than a Furby, but how will it compare to the Aibo line? I’m inclined to assume that at 1 tenth the price, the Aibo will blow it out of the water, but we’ll see. Apples and oranges, I guess, especially becuase the Aibo is out of business. I think the “start from $30-$100 and work your way up” approach that the Furby and RoboSapien lines took is a much more reasonable plan than Aibo’s “give me all your money” approach.
While Furby had two computer brains, Pleo will have seven computer brains that control 14 motors and 38 sensors. Christopher says the combination of intelligence, precision movement and personality will make Pleo a believable, lifelike pet.
“This robot is going to have organic movement, so that it seems to move and behave like something real,” Christopher said.
Pleo is starting to find it’s way into the blogosphere. Lockergnome is glad to see good news in this area after the bad news about AIBO, Engadget is excited about the Pleo’s SD expansion slot(ME TOO!), and Gearlog has a shot of a Pleo prototype.
The full press release is here. Excerpt:
UGOBE is made up of a multidisciplinary team of robotics experts,
animators, technologists, scientists, biologists and programmers. Through a
unique blend of life sciences, artistic design and sophisticated engineering,
UGOBE has created its first scientifically authentic designer species. Pleo
has an astonishingly realistic form, which is revealed in his amazingly fluid
motions, advanced sensory systems and lifelike body language.
“UGOBE’s goal is to re-animate life by transforming inanimate objects into
lifelike creatures exhibiting organic movement and behaviors,” said Bob
Christopher, CEO of UGOBE. “Through evolving companionship, Pleo will suspend
disbelief by bringing magic and beauty to life.”
Pleo features include
— 14 servo joints (torso, head, tail, neck, legs) with force feedback
— 38-touch, sound, light and tilt sensors including nine touch sensors
(mouth, chest, head, shoulders, back, feet) and 8 feet and toe sensors
— Fluid quadruped motion
— Ability to avoid obstacles and not walk off edges
— Sound output, stereo sound sensors and music beat detection
— Autonomous interaction with owner and environment including coughing,
blinking eyes, chomping, twitching, sighing, sneezing, sniffing,
growling stomach, tail drift, and yawning
— Distinct moods including anger, boredom, playfulness, hunting,
cautious, cuddling, disgust, disorientation, distress, fear, curiosity,
joy, sorrow, surprise, fatigue, hunger, and a desire for social
— Upgradeable, Life Form OS and Personality System
— SD card memory expansion
— Ability to communicate with other UGOBE Life Forms
— Rechargeable battery
Pleo will be available in Q3 2006, in time for the holidays, and will MSRP
Brings back memories.