is a robotic dinosaur designed to emulate the appearance and behavior of a week-old baby Camarasaurus.
It was designed by Caleb Chung
, the co-creator of the Furby
, and is manufactured by Ugobe. Chung selected this species of dinosaur because its body shape, stocky head, and relatively large cranium made it ideal for concealing the sensors and motors needed for lifelike animation. According to Ugobe, each Pleo will "learn" from its experiences and environment through a sophisticated artificial intelligence and develop an individual personality.
Pleo was unveiled on February 7, 2006 at the DEMO Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona and was expected to come on the Indian and American markets around Fall 2007. Pleo shipments started on December 5, 2007.
The robot is software-upgradeable via SD card or USB interfaces and costs $349 USD. Ugobe encourages user modifications of the robot's firmware, providing a graphical interface for home users called MySkit, and a forthcoming API for programmers called a "PDK." (Pleo Developers Kit).
Pleo was engineered by a group of robotics specialists, animators, technologists, scientists, biologists, and programmers. The design combines sensory, articulation, and neuronetics to create a lifelike appearance with organic movement and adaptable behaviors.
In developing Pleo, Ugobe noted the biological and neurological systems of the Camarasaurus, and "re-interpreted" those elements through hardware and software.
Object, Facial Recognition
Pleo does not have facial recognition, meaning it can't tell you apart from others by face. Pleo's color camera does offer object recognition and can be upgraded through software.
- camera-based vision system (for light detection and navigation)
- two microphones, binaural hearing
- beat detection (allows pleo to dance and listen to music) - this feature was removed but may be added on again.
- eight touch sensors (head, chin, shoulders, back, feet)
- four foot switches (surface detection)
- fourteen force-feedback sensors, one per joint
- orientation tilt sensor for body position
- infrared mouth sensor for object detection into mouth
- infrared transmit and receive for communication with other Pleos
- Mini-USB port for online downloads
- SD card slot for Pleo add-ons
- infrared detection for external objects
- 32-bit Atmel ARM 7 microprocessor (main processor for Pleo)
- 32-bit NXP ARM 7 sub processor (camera system, audio input dedicated processor)
- four 8-bit processors (low-level motor control)