Pleo is a cute little robotic dinosaur that arrives at your doorstep as a newly-hatched baby Camarasaurus. From there, According to Pleoworld you can nurture it and raise it as your own, and your Pleo will take on an unpredictable life of its own depending on how you treat it. Pleo can feel, must be fed, and likes to explore and be cuddled. And most importantly, it has a mind and mood of its own.
You might remember when we covered Pleo the dinosaur a few years ago. At the time Pleo was just in its early stages of development. If you held it up by the tail it would get mad, and if you pet it, Pleo would love you. Pleo also had a USB interface for upgrades. According to Harry McCracken, who looked at Pleo then, Pleo liked to sleep a lot and if Pleo was in a really deep slumber then it was hard to wake Pleo up.
Not too much of that has changed, but since then, Pleo has gained many additional features, and evolved, so to speak. Innvo Labs, the makers of Pleo, gave Pleo an intense upgrade with a variety of new features not seen several years ago when we first covered the robotic dino. Check out the above video (from BotJunkie--now IEEE Spectrum Automation) for an interview with Inno Labs CEO Derek Dotson.
There are a number of other robot toys out there like the incredibly annoying Tri-Bot which spins around, tries to crack jokes, and does it with a high pitched annoying voice. Another higher-end toy would be the Genibo Robot Dog, but it's loud, nearly four times as expensive as Pleo, and its actions seem too programmed. Toy-wise and for the price ($469 for the basic pack), Pleo seems the most life-like and has the greatest attitude.
In the future, says Dotson, Innvo Labs plans to improve the navigational system of Pleo, the skin and paint, and they even plan to give it the ability to self-recharge. I ask you, what's better than a pet dinosaur with an attitude and a USB interface?
Be vewy vewy queiet, James Mulroy is hunting dinosaurs...make sure to follow him on Twitter to see how that works out for him.