I have never looked deeply in toys innovation during these years but it really seems that there are some great new products coming to the market.
Pleo is a robotic dinosaur that is able to interact with the external world. Reading throough the Pleo web site I discovered that this little baby is a very complex system having:
- 14 motors to create smooth animations.
- More than 50 gears.
- A camera in the nose to help your baby to be aware of objects and light around him.
- Touch sensor to let you interact with it.
- An SD card slot that you can use to “teach” your baby to do new things.
Ugobe is planning to release an SDK that will allow more advanced users to take full control of their dinosaur.
Pleo is able to show emotions. Your dinosaur can be happy and curios, playful and lively, scared and surprised or sad and vexed. Each of these will produce different movements.
One of the first things that impressed me was the title of the home page of Pleo: “PleoWorld — The Home of Pleo, the Robotic Baby Dinosaur from Ugobe life forms”.
This statement is quite interesting. First of all it says that your dinosaur is a baby dinosaur. This means that it is supposed to grow and evolve. This is actually true since there are several ages for your dinosaur that follow a very clear evolution path. You will start with an infant dinosaur with very slow moving dinosaur openingÂ its eyes when your first power it on.Â This stage actually corresponds to “birth”.
According to the pleo.org website the next stages of the evolution of your Pleo will be Hatchling and Juvenile. At each stage you will discover new movements and behaviors (Yes, it’s true, they really say behaviors).
The second interesting thing is that Ugobe is producing “life forms”. I am just wondering how many companies could make the very same statement and it is really intriguing.
I have not yet been able to understand what is planned for the SDK so I do not know which degree of freedom you will have with it.
As it always happens with these kind of toys there are already a number of internet web sites dedicated to hack the product. This is usually an indication fo the market success of a product and somehow it remembers me the old times of the first Nabaztag.Â If you are interested you may have a look here and here.
The product should ship by the end of January 2008 with a suggested retail price of 349,00 USD.