For the past two days, we have had a visitor in the office. Its name is Rhino and it’s a Pleo robotic dinosaur. It’s also awfully, awfully cute!
What’s a Pleo, you ask. Created by the brains behind Furby, the Pleo is a robotic toy that’s equipped with seriously advanced AI. Just like a real pet, it has moods and requires some TLC to be a happy animal. It has a personality and will purr contentedly when you stroke its head. Neglect or abuse it and it will growl at you. It has sensors all over its body and a tiny camera embedded at its forehead allows it to recognize faces. It even requires feeding via an electronic leaf and will sleep when it’s tired.
Amazing, isn’t it? We’ve been having a lot of fun with it. Being an office of girls, we’ve been cuddling it and cooing over it. We’ll tickle the underside of its head until it starts humming a happy tune in contentment, and stroke its head so that its tail will wag enthusiastically like a dog. It even chomps on its leaf loudly and snores when it’s fast asleep. It’s just like a real pet, except that you can switch it off and recharge it’s batteries.
I almost felt like buying one until I realised the price: a whopping $799. Eeks. I’d rather adopt a pup from the SPCA. But it really is too darn cute! Check out the following video and you will see why.