Maybe you have a pet and have been considering getting a companion for her or perhaps your child has been asking for a kitten or puppy. Or maybe you want a high tech toy to play that you can play with and will freak out the family dog. Well, you’re in luck. There are more and more robotic pets on the market these days and some are low-end that you can find at your local electronic store for a few bucks and others are high-end that can cost over $500.
Here are 3 pet robots that can be amusing to you, scare your cat, and confuse your dog:
1: Pleo – a one week-old baby Camarasaurus dinosaur. Pleo interacts with you, the environment, and expresses several emotions autonomously. On the website for Pleo you can log in and update enhancements for him as well as find tips and tricks to interact with him more. Pleo can hear noise, sense touching something, and see. He has a camera and sensors on his robotic frame. He’ll also run you about $350. But if you meet Pleo, scratch his chin and see if he’ll sing for you.
2: Paro – a therapeutic pet seal that has won awards for its realistic interactions with people. It’s used as therapy for some people, comfort for older citizens, and has been making headlines lately. Paro was recently on the cover of the NY Times.
Paro has 5 kinds of sensors on him that recognize light, sound, touch, and positioning of his own robotic body. He moves his head, legs, and makes sounds and can turn and look at you if you speak. He’s been able to reduce stress in patients and provides a sense of companionship that is similar to a cat or dog for those who are unable to own one. Paro costs about $6,500. He’s a pricey seal!
3: Robotic Baby Chicken - maybe Paro is outside your budget and you don’t need a white seal that is creepily lifelike. There’s always a barnyard animal that could amuse you. This little yellow robotic chick chirps, shimmies its tiny wings, and sits in your hand.
It won’t tell you the ending to a movie you’re watching or roll down your car window and moon people as you drive downtown. This little chicken will always be ready to be adorable and cries when it is ignored. It comes with its own nest so at night it can be put to bed and rest. The robotic chicken is about $30.
The pros to having a robotic pet are that they won’t eat your couch, won’t leave “gifts” on the floor, and won’t bark at the mailman.
The cons are that they are… robots and you might get strange looks from your neighbors if you try to walk your Pleo or baby chicken on a leash.