The more we learn about Pleo, the autonomous robot dinosaur just announced by Ugobe, the more we like it. Thanks to one of our readers,‘murcii’, we were vectored to the demo.com video that shows Pleo taking its first baby steps.
Demo has rapidly become the place to see and be seen, if you’re a start-up looking for venture investment from venture capitalists, and to generate some buzz around your new product or service.
The Pleo demo, hosted by Ugobe’s Bob Christopher (CEO & Co-Founder) and Caleb Chung (Co-Founder and Chief Inventor) was staged as the robot dinosaur’s moment of birth.
Christopher starts off a little stiff, as if he is slightly uncomfortable and reading from a script, but as soon as Pleo makes its appearance, Christopher relaxes and really gets into the whole experience.
Chung demonstrates Pleo waking up for the first time, its response to
petting and attention, and its playfulness.
Chung, who is probably most well known as the inventor of the Furby, carries the whole demo off extremely well, even down to prompting the audience to join in singing “Happy Birthday” to the infant robot. The complete demo was recorded on video and is available online via the link below.
Pleo’s movements are extremely lifelike, and the way that it responds and
interacts is amazing. It’s easy to forget that its a robot.
In addition to some amazing technology, the Ugobe folks are proving to be extremely adept at marketing. The wordsmithing of their DEMO profile is great, and includes phrasing like-
“… revolutionary robotic technology that transforms inanimate objects into lifelike creatures…”
“Like Pixar, we blur technology into reality”
“… challenges the relationship between human beings and non-living creatures.”
Actually, the only thing in their profile that struck a really odd note was their “market segment” being shown as “consumer hardware.” Perhaps that was the closest available category on the DEMO 2006 entry form, but it sure doesn’t fit Pleo. On the other hand, where would you put it? In some respects it is a ‘toy’, and it is a ‘robot’ to some extent. Still, it potentially offers so much more – and we don’t have an ‘artificial lifeform’ business category – at least not yet.
Pleo's introduction video and background – via demo.com