From Ugobe comes the Pleo Dinosaur, which weighs in at 3.5 pounds and stands at 7.5 inches high. No, it's not a live baby dinosaur that your child is keen on having for a house pet, if one is for sale in the pet store. Instead, Pleo is an autonomous robot toy moulded after the Camarasaurus species of dinosaurs.
Pleo is the first product in Ugobe's Life Forms line and we must say that it's an excellent start to robotic toys that may well revolutionize the industry. But of course, it's not exactly the science behind the toy that makes Pleo popular among the kids - it's the replication of the life cycle itself. Or at least, as close to replication as modern robotics can allow.
Just as kids will expect from a living thing, Pleo Dinosaur starts out with life as an infant for 5-10 minutes. It will stumble around like a newborn animal still finding use for its legs - cute and charming, if we do say so ourselves.
Then in the next 45 minutes, Pleo becomes a hatchling. You should see basic behaviours, actions and needs that clue everybody in for its perpetually juvenile state. Yes, even when Pleo becomes mature, so to speak, it will remain a juvenile - needy for attention but easily pleased with the a belly rub. It kind of reminds you of your gift recipients, boy and big boys alike, doesn't it?
If your kid loves puppies, then the Pleo Dinosaur is a perfect choice. It acts like a small puppy but with the appearance of a brightly-colored baby dinosaur. Your family will love its wagging tail, its chomping sounds when "eating" the special rubber leaf, its crying out when it needs attention, its panting sounds, and its walking around like so much bundle of joy on four legs.
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But as with most puppies, you may find its constant need for attention to be just a bit annoying on the nerves. Your kid has to stroke the rubber skin to make Pleo calm down but once the toy robot does so, the scene can be charming sans the pee and poop of a real puppy.
You can even see Pleo close its eyes when sleeping or use its eyes to beg. It's almost eerie how a toy robot can be so puppy-like albeit made from rubber, plastic and metal.
So, how is the Dinosaur's response to it environment made possible? Skipping on the technological jargon, Pleo is actually one of the most sophisticated toy robots in the market today so much so that most robotic experts assert that it easily outshines competitors from the likes of Lego and Hasbro.
If you can afford to take apart Pleo - the toy costs $349 in some online sites - you will observe the many sensors embedded within its body. There is a colour camera in the nose, infrared sensors in the snout and mouth, as well as eight touch sensors in other parts of its body. Thus, your new robot toy responds to even the slightest touch on its rubber skin. Return to Christmas Gifts for Teens from Pleo Dinosaur
Indeed, Pleo Dinosaur is a great gift for young kids and the young at heart whose interests lie in robotics. You may not even wish to let your kid play with it without you by his side!