All this week Which? technology experts have been in Japan giving daily reports on the massive Ceatec 2008 electronics show. And they’ve seen many varieties of robot, including unicyclists, cyclists, and receptionists – but none can match the Pleo for instant appeal.
The Pleo, made by Vivid Imaginations, is a robot dinosaur that responds to touch – and it could be in high demand in the run-up to Christmas, according to industry experts. It walks, talks, ‘eats’ leaves, and will move when you stroke or pat him. Feedback sensors under the chin, feet and on the body get him walking and wriggling with glee. The robot dinosaur includes a digital camera to ‘see’ its surroundings.
According to its makers, Pleo develops its personality as it grows older, and user interaction determines how its personality develops. It has four different states, ‘happy and curious’, ‘playful and lively’, ‘scared and surprised’, and ‘sad and vexed’. Users will need to ensure that he’s well fed, played with, and comforted when scared.
Which? robotics expert Lizzy Payne said: ‘We’re sure that it’ll be a big hit this Christmas in the UK. If we had the money we’d be at the head of the queue for one – it’s available online now for about £300’.
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