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Monday, August 27, 2007

 

Can Pleo recognize my voice?


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Another question asked by people is whether or not Pleo can recognize their voice. At the current time Pleo does not have voice recognition or speech recognition. Since Pleo is upgradeable, perhaps he (or she) may have either of those capabilities at a later time; but currently the answer is no.

Voice recognition is not the same thing as speech recognition. Speech recognition is what most people are familiar with; where a computer or robot can listen to speech and recognize the words you are saying. Usually these words are turned into commands that make the computer or robot do one particular task or another. Voice recognition is the ability to tell one voice from another. That is, the ability to identify someone by their voice. It is sometimes used as a security mechanism, like the way a password or thumb print is used to identify someone before giving them access to privileged information. In a robot like Pleo's case, it could be used to identify their owner.

People have asked for the voice recognition feature so they could say their Pleo's name and be able to pick their Pleo out of a crowd when it responds to their call. A very cool feature, but not part of Pleo's repertoire at this time.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

 

Pleo Preorders : Wal-Mart System Glitch


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Some of you who pre-ordered Pleos from Wal-Mart received an E-mail telling you that Pleo is no longer available and that your order had been canceled. This E-mail was sent out in error and Wal-Mart says that the system glitch has been fixed. A thread on the Pleo World forum addresses this recent problem and is quoted here:
"WalMart expects to have a solution on Monday for all orders that were affected. They also say that they are very sorry for the inconvenience – and the scare – that our Pleo owners-to-be experienced because of the glitch. "
Watch this Wal-Mart Pleo thread for updates if you are affected by this situation. I'll post new information here when I receive it.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

 

Update on Pleo interaction


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I just wanted to clarify some detail points about how Pleos will communicate. The first batch of Pleos, either First Hatch group or the main batch soon thereafter, will not have the herd technology. This is technology that Ugobe plans to implement at a later date. Some time in a future release, when Pleos group together, they will select a leader or Alpha Pleo and that Pleo will teach the other Pleos tricks. This is a very exciting feature but just to make sure I've communicated this effectively, it will not be in the first release of Pleo. But it is planned for a later release. It looks like owning a Pleo will be a continuing journey filled with surprises and new kinds of fun!

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

 

Ugobe Is Where?


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Just a little note for those of you who have been a little confused about where Ugobe is geographically. Ugobe's research and development arm is in Eagle, Idaho. That is where the primary planning, design, testing, and prototyping is done. However, Ugobe is also in Emeryville, California. That is where most of the marketing, packaging design, and other important issues are worked on.

You will also hear a lot about ShiftComm, Ugobe's powerhouse public relations firm. They are the ones responsible for getting the word out about Pleo and communicating to the public official Ugobe company and product statements. They have offices in San Francisco, California and Boston, Massachusetts.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

 

Pleo Will Be Customizable


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Soon after Pleo's release, Ugobe intends to release a developer's kit so that others can create fresh content for Pleo. Content will mostly come in the form of new behaviors, including new baby dinosaur movements, and new sounds. Although not confirmed yet, Ugobe may also offer updates themselves. Be careful what you download and install on the SD card you get for Pleo if it comes from third party sources. Ugobe states in the FAQ on PleoWorld that some downloadable content may void Pleo's warranty. (Editor's note: this is my opinion based on my personal experience as a programmer, but such external content might also corrupt Pleo's personality forcing you to reset him. In essence, doing a "brain wipe" and therefore losing the endearing personality he have developed over time and leaving him in the newborn state he arrives in when you unpack him).

Ugobe recommends buying an SD card with at least 32 MB of memory.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

 

Rumor Department - Does Pleo grow?


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Occassionally I've been seeing some rumors on the web about Pleo growing physically larger. This is just not true. Pleo does grow behaviorally over time, changing as he learns his environment and interacts with you, but his size and cuddly shape will not change. Would you really want a 40 ton dinosaur robot in your house? Where would you put him or her? What would happen to your house? Pleo is about the size of a small tubby cat and will stay that way. The rumors probably got started when someone read about the ability for Pleo's personality to evolve over time, and misinterpreted it resulting in their making the invalid claim that Pleo's body changers over time. It does not.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

 

Will Pleo Have A Remote Control?


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Pleo will not have a remote control. To affect Pleo's behavior you do what you would do with any pet, you play with it. For positive reinforcement you can use Pleo's training leaf. But Pleo also learns simply by exploring your your home or apartment and most importantly, by interacting with you! When and how you touch him, how you react to his cries for attention and food, all of these things affect Pleo's growth and development as a baby dinosaur. He will also know if you do something mean like twist his leg and in that case, will even walk witha limp for a while. But you wouldn't do that of course right?

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

 

What does Pleo eat?


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Pleo although incredibly life-like, only needs batteries (and your love) to sustain him. However, he also likes to nibble on his training leaf, which acts as a way for you to reward him when he does something good; like positive reinforcement for a cat or a dog. He'll chew on it for a while until he is satisfied and then go on to some other pressing baby dinosaur business. There's a lively thread about Pleo and food on the PleoWorld forums now.

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

 

Pleo with a Lifetime Guarantee?


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Just a quick note about an interesting Pleo sale offer I ran across recently. Hammacher Schlemmer, a specialty item store that has been in business for over 159 years, recently started selling Pleo. By selling I mean accepting preorders of course. What is interesting is that they are offering Pleo for preorder with their Lifetime Guarantee. Note, what they mean by Lifetime is life of the product, not your lifetime. But I asked them specifically what that meant in regards to Pleos and the customer service representative told me that: for 9 to 10 years from the date of purchase, you can return it for a refund (less shipping and service fees). That is a valuable guarantee on an item (Pleo) that has plenty of gears, sensors, and other advanced electronics. Read more about their offer and the latest Pleo buying information on the buy a Pleo dinosaur page.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

 

Pleo Dinosaur - New Webisode shows you the Ugobe Labs!


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Just a quick note to you about the brand new video that was just posted on Pleo World, Ugobe's official user community site. It's their second Webisode and in this two minute video you'll get a quick look at the wonderful people working day and night to put the finishing touches on our Pleos. Ugobe co-founder and lead inventor, Caleb Chung, is your tour guide and introduces you to many of the development team. Watch closely near the end, and you'll catch a very brief moment where producer André Zietsman is testing Pleo's object recognition capability with a little red ball.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

 

The Pleo World Video : Super Clean And Ultra-Cool!


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Thank you Ugobe and Pleo World for allowing me to post the main Pleo World video on YouTube. It's a quantum leap better in quality compared to all the previous ad hoc Pleo videos we've seen. This video is a delight to see and hear and shows Pleo being mercilessly adorable as he or she crawls about, smiles for the camera, and in a rare shot plays with another Pleo.

This is also a good time to tell you to visit Pleo World, even if you've done so in the past. They've done a great job of filling out the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) with everything you could want to know about Pleo. Don't forget to visit the forums which are starting to pick up and whose members are all friendly and eager to talk about their favorite pet to be.



This is a post about Pleo, UGOBE's robot dinosaur
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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

 

Engadget Gives Pleo High Praise!


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The folks at power gadget site Engadget had a chance to see Pleo up close and personal and in their latest post they definitely love him (or her)! There isn't much new information in the post but here's my favorite quote from it:
"Well we finally got a little face time with this sensor-laden blast from the past, and we're happy to report that the frustrating delays our Jurassic pal has suffered seem to be well worth it, as the model we saw behaved and performed almost flawlessly."
They also have some terrific high quality photos of our favorite baby dino in their new picture gallery. This is good news indeed because Engadget does not pull any punches if they find something unfavorable about a product!
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Friday, August 3, 2007

 

Behind The Scenes : The Making Of Pleo


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To get us ready for Pleo's release in October 2007 Ugobe has started a series of short videos or Webisodes, the first of which is titled "Behind The Scenes : The Making Of Pleo". It is a great introduction to Pleo since it shows the evolution of Pleo. In this 3 minutes video we see one of the more recent prototypes of Pleo hamming it up for the camera. Next CEO Bob Christopher, Ugobe's CEO and Ugobe co-founder and inventor Caleb Chung give us a peek behind the scenes by showing us rare footage of the making of Pleo. In fact, you will get to see a very old prototype of Pleo without its skin. This revealing scene is followed by another showing a newer Pleo protoype in that same state of undress. A new video will be released on August 17, 2007 and in that video we will be treated to a tour of Ugobe's offices by none other than Caleb himself.

Watch "Behind The Scenes : The Making Of Pleo" which you can also see on Pleo World, Ugobe's Official community site. I suggest you visit Pleo World now. You will be please to find that they have greatly expanded their help and technical documents on Pleo. You will especially delighted to read about Pleo's extensive features and intricate behavior.




Video courtesy of Ugobe's Pleo World

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