Friday, December 7, 2007

Pleo: PCMag review

Pleo walks and moves smoothly, but it's slow, and
unlike a real puppy, cannot run into your arms. You can make it come to
you by holding its legs for three seconds, but then there'll be a long,
long wait for it to arrive. Pleo has force feedback sensors in its
legs, but they're currently not enabled. That much was obvious whenever
I lifted it by its stomach, which positioned my hand in the middle of
its four legs. Both my 12-year-old son and I had the experience of Pleo
nearly crushing our hands. No damage was done, but the robot seems
unaware that our digits were there.

The rubber skin smells funny, and stroking it is
somewhat difficult—your hand will drag along the brightly colored
rubber flesh.

Charging Pleo's removable battery can take 3
hours in a recharging station that sometimes makes it difficult to
properly seat the battery, and then you get roughly an hour of
playtime. There's no visual indicator or beep that lets you know when
Pleo is running out of juice. It just slows down and eventually stops.
I remember how Sony's AIBO robot dog could actually hunt for its
charging station when it was running out of power. On the other hand,
it was often too far from the base to make it and ended up temporarily
dead on the kitchen floor.

Article Link (PCMag)

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