Pleo. Adopt Your Own Dinosaur!

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.20080116pleo.jpg

One of the most inter­est­ing I have seen is Pleo com­ing from Ugobe.

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 open­ing its eyes when your first power it on. 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. 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.

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  • Drunk Mom 6

    well.. it’s like I thought!

  • Bill Win­ners

    It sounds amaz­ing. I saw the sony robots when I was in Thai­land and it does make you feel that some of these robots are human.

  • Gemma Har­vey

    Wow! I’m sure my son would like to have one. I must admit it’s a lit­tle over our bud­get but he is very much crazy about dinosaurs. Whether its a plas­tic toy, muse­ums, col­or­ing books, or videos, he sim­ply loves these crea­tures. Thanks for sharing.