Pleo Robot Dinosaur Review

pleo-robot-dinosaur-reviewA couple of weeks ago, Pleo the robotic dinosaur arrived on our doorstep for review. As soon as Pleo was through the door it was time to quickly see what he was all about.

Pleo is one of the most advanced toy robots I have ever seen. It was designed by Caleb Chung who helped make the Furby a number of years ago. Pleo has a bunch of motors, sensors, microphones and more to help it move around and learn it’s environment.

Pleo Features

* Pleo uses a camera-based vision system to sense it’s way around by light
* 8 touch sensors are available in his head, chin, shoulders, back and one in each of it’s 4 feet.
* 2 microphones let Pleo hear from both sides of his head
* 14 force feedback sensors are found (one on each joint)
* tilt sensor (Pleo gets angry when you flip him over)
* Mouth sensor for detecting when he has something in there
* Mini USB port can be used to download new personalities
* An SD card slot is also used for ad-ons
* IR transmitters for use with 2 Pleo’s to communicate with each other

As you can see, that’s a fairly impressive set of features for a robotic toy dinosaur.


Pleo Review

The review model of Pleo came with a couple of batteries. Charge time is about 3 hours… so after a few hours of waiting it was time to switch Pleo on for the first time. When Pleo is used for the first time he starts out in the initial birthing stage which takes about 10 minutes to complete. In this birth mode Pleo just sits there looking around occasionally. To speed up this stage and make Pleo more confident you can pat his head and back (where his sensors are). Pleo’s eyes also open and close quite a bit in this phase.

When Pleo stands up he has then reached the next phase which is the Hatchling Stage. The hatchling stage see’s Pleo starting to walk around and sense his environment. This stage lasts around 45 minutes and you will see Pleo start to work on his behaviour. In this stage, new sounds will be made and he will also take short naps just like a baby would. Once Pleo is done with his hatchling stage it is time to recharge the battery as it only lasts about an hour.

Once recharged, Pleo enters the Juvenile stage which is the last of his growth stages. In this stage Pleo will now exhibit a full range of movements.

Pleo Details

Pleo measures 21 inches in length when stretched out and stands around 7 inches tall. He is well built and covered in a rubber type skin. The amount of motors that control Pleo under his skin make him look amazing while walking about the floor. The creators have done a fantastic job with building him.

Pleo Extras

If you happen to get bored of Pleo then don’t worry. Pleo has a USB port and an SD card slot built in. These are used to upload new personalities to Pleo. Not only are the official updates and modifications to his brain, but also a bunch of enthusiasts also create new personalities to expand Pleo beyond his basic programming. A mixture of these make the rubber skinned robot dinosaur a cool thing to own.

Pleo Review Conclusion

I am amazed at the quality of this product and it has been a cool few weeks having him walk around the living room. The only downside is that the price tag is quite high (currently £168.99 at Amazon)… but due to Pleo’s shear complexity and coolness the price tag also seems quite small if that makes sense. Pleo comes highly recommended.

Pleo is available in the US here and UK here.

More details of Pleo can be found over at PleoWorld.

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