Tuesday December 11, 2007

Pleo: Out of the Box

I am now the proud owner of one of the first Pleos - the little robotic dinosaur from Ugobe. I first learned of Pleo nearly a year ago when I read an article by Clive Thompson in Wired magazine.

Say hello to Pleo. From the guy who brought you Furby, it's a snuffling, stretching, oddly convincing robotic dinosaur. You are so going to want one.

Clive was right; I wanted one. As soon as it was possible, I pre-ordered my Pleo. Then I waited while Ugobe changed the schedule, each time making improvements and adjustments. More sensors. An externally rechargeable (and replaceable) battery. And finally, in mid-November. the announcement I had been waiting for.


GREAT NEWS! Pleo is in production this month! For those of you who have pre-ordered Pleo from the UGOBE store, your 30-day shipment notification will arrive before Thanksgiving. Anyone who has pre-ordered Pleo from any US retailer will receive their baby dino before December 25th. You can look forward to the squeals of delight from family and friends, the “what-the-heck?” response from your pets, and all the fun of getting to know Pleo yourself. Also in December, enhancements to Pleoworld.com will enable you to connect and share experiences with other owners and download a surprise “mode” for Pleo!

Pleo showed up at my door this past Friday. I charged his battery, then found a quiet hour in which to take him out of the box and wake him up.

Speaking of the box, it's quite cute. Pleo is nestled carefully in molded styrofoam. The outside of the box is emblazoned with many photos, including a picture of the underside of Pleo (and the bottoms of his feet) on the bottom of the box.

The manual suggests that it will take 5 to 10 minutes to wake Pleo, then 30 - 45 minutes to get acquainted. During this time, Pleo opens his eyes, stretches, moos and purrs, takes a few steps. He wags his tail, responds to having his head rubbed, and occasionally dozes off. He blinks a lot and moves his head and feet. The whirring sound is both odd and delightful.

The cats sat nearby in a small semi circle, watching intently. Mezzaluna's eyes were especially wide.

We moved from the kitchen to the living room when Pleo began moving about. Three of the cats followed us. Squirrel decided to stay in the kitchen.

Pleo has a little trouble with the carpet. Oddly, he seemed to find it easier to walk backwards.

Raven considered (and discarded) the idea of "patting" Pleo with his paw. However, he did decide to play with Pleo's leaf - a rubbery piece of greenery that serves as both "food" and toy for the baby dinosaur. Raven thought it made a reasonable toy for a cat as well. Toss!

Eventually, after an hour or so, Pleo decided to take a nap. I retired to the couch with a book. The cats joined me and we closed Day 1 of our Dino Adventure.

Next step...figuring out the best way to transport Pleo to the Job. I look forward to sharing him with my co-workers. One of my co-workers has also ordered a Pleo (although his hadn't yet arrived as of yesterday morning). It will be fun to see if they play together.

If you don't have a Pleo of your own, you can watch the videos at pleoworld.com. Meanwhile, I'm considering a name other than Pleo...

Pleo: Out of the Box ( in category SciTech , Show & Tell ) - posted at Tue, 11 Dec, 18:24 Pacific | «e»


Amazingly geeky :-)

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