Robotics developer Ugobe today announced it is accepting online orders for Pleo, the first of the company’s “designer life forms” which is already being hyped as a possible “must-have” gift for the upcoming end-of-year holiday season. Ugobe will accept pre-orders for the cute robotic dinosaur through its own online store as well as through majur online retail partners like Amazon.com, Best Buy, Target, and Wal-Mart.
Udobe has also launched a new community Web site, PleoWorld, to offer information about the product and let Pleo fans congregate and communicate. The site also offers Pleo videos and the latest product news.
“As we have moved toward realizing our vision to create a product that inspires an emotional connection, the excitement around Pleo has grown,” said Ugobe CEO Bob Christopher, in a release. “Now with PleoWorld, we are continuing to build the Pleo community by giving fans a closer look at Pleo in a place where they can gather and interact, as well as an easy opportunity to pre-order the product.”
Pleo is a life-like robotic dinosaur which features a unique ability to develop its own unique personality and move through “life stages” based on interactions with its owner. Pleo is modelled after a one week-old Camarasaurus, can express a vareity of emotions, and tucks away two 32-bit processors, four sub-processors, 14 motors, dozens of sensors, hundreds of gears, and a camera-based vision system. Pleo will come with a training “leaf” users can use to reinforce positive behavior; over time, Pleo progresses from infant-hood towards being a juvenile dinosaur.
Unlike many high-tech toys, Pleo’s adaptability should help it appeal to children, teens, adults, and both male and female owners—ever Pleo will behave differently based on its owners’ actions. But Pleo will not be inexpensive: Ugobe’s pre-order announcement also revealed Pleo’s retail price for the first time: $349.
Pleo is scheduled to be available through traditional retailers beginning in October, 2007.