HighTechScience.org's    "Pleo" Dinosaur Robot

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   The Pleo is a robotic dinosaur designed to emulate the appearance and behavior of a prehistoric animal. It was designed by Caleb Chung, the co-creator of the Furby. Each Pleo would learn from its experiences and develop an individual personality.

   The Pleo was unveiled in 2006 at the DEMO Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona by the UGOBE company and was expected to come on the market around Fall 2007. Pleo shipments started on December 5, 2007. In 2009 it was purchased by Innvo Labs. It has since been completely redesigned and upgraded with many improvements.
  The Pleo was originally engineered by a group of robotic specialists, animators, technologists, scientists, biologists, and programmers. The design combined sensory, articulation, and neuronetics to create a lifelike appearance with realistic movement and behaviors.
    The robot is software-upgradeable via SD card or USB interfaces. In a 2008 test of various animatronic animal toys in Slate magazine, the Pleo was the only contestant which was considered a success, whereas the remaining models of earlier or competing developers were mainly considered unnatural, creepy or simply unconvincing.

Features of the Pleo:

  • A camera-based vision system (for light detection and navigation).
  • Two microphones for hearing.
  • Beat detection (allows Pleo to dance and listen to music).
  • Eight touch sensors (head, chin, shoulders, back & feet).
  • Four foot switches (for 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 Pleo's.
  • 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).

Click Here for the Pleo Operating Manual (pdf)

Here is an educational display we made showing how the Pleo works.
Here is an educational display we made showing how the Pleo works.
It is fully functional and lets kids see it in action without it's skin.

Here is a YouTube video of the Pleo in action.

Here is a video we shot of the Pleo without it's skin

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