Now, i write this review having had many opinions of Pleo in the past.
I'm someone who owns a few robots, and prior to getting a pleo i had a sony aibo. In terms of AI if youre out for collecting bots like I do, dont go into one like i did, Pleo is not supposed to be robotic, its supposed to be like a pet. The original AI it came with before updating to the newest PM2 was very very very light. And it grew boring very quickly for me, when i had my ERS-210 aibo who did so much more!
It's only now after 2 years of owning pleo hes really getting some use. He's been updated, and im looking at him with the same eyes as you would a puppy or kitten, a playful baby animal - and not a sophiticated entertainment machine. and because of this he seems much more alive and entertaining in his own way. very different to my aibos, but by no means is that a bad thing.
The latest AI update did fix so many things the original - and other updates didnt really do (though some complained of pleo freezing for a couple seconds and resuming, those seem to fade away with more use) PM2 gives pleo more skits and motions, he seems much more alive in his movements when you pet him or when hes just bored and doing a wierd little wiggle dig at the floor. He seems much more inclined to explore - his walking motions are slow and ploddy, but he sure can get around given half a chance - AND his avoiding obstacles is much improved. pleo out the box seemed unable to turn around when faced with something in his way withough reversing a million times and moving in a very slow semi-circle.
his exploration and avoision skills are nothing compared to other robots with quicker mobility - but he does noticably turn and go in a different direction much much better than he used to.
Hes also supposed to be able to detect greens/yellowy coloyrs like the leaf included, with his camera... but i have such low light conditions i cant really verifie this.
durability, the famous issue with pleo. yes the skin paint will rub off If you stroke - i tend to pat and after these years hes still looking alright, minor wear. The skin will get holes, again mine are minor - and i beleive they are worse for some because oftheir countries or regions humidity - dry air = dry skin = cracking. there are numerous rubber care products you can use with pleo AND people in the pleo communities have even found paint that works on the skin so you can do a whole new look if you were that way inclined! **also on pleoworld store you can buy a 'pleo cape' which is a soft fabric covering that covers most of pleos body and is designed to look like the skin pattern of pleo - this offers protection OR covers up a 'well loved' pleos wear and tear.
PS: theres newer pleos on the market with the 2009 innvo labs version, or the pleo RB (largly improved over the original) but if you want a cheaper one the original Ugobes are all over the place on auction sites etc *update your pleo to PM2 asap for a much more improved experiance. *newer batteries (lithium polymer) which charge faster, last longer and make pleo much more active are available at pleoworld, as are things like the pleo capes for skin coverage.
Pros: *when seen as a pet, pleo is very cute, very responsive to interaction and entertaining. *is programmable with 3rd party tools - myskit & yapt, or the 1st party PDK (pawn scripting) *has a friendly active community who are finding out new things to do to/with pleo all the time - and often know how to repair them should they get any broken necks etc (never happened to me but seems like the most common ailment next to skin issues) *its a dinosaur. A DINOSAUR. you cant not want a pet dinosaur.
Cons: *dodgy skin, but not the end of the world. Ive seen totally naked pleos who are very happy and have no troubles moving about (they look pretty interesting too!) *could still do with more software updates, but doubtful itll happen what with the newer pleoRBs out (who have updated hardware like better camera and mics and actually can be taught a few basic voice commands etc) unless when they update the RBs they release a trimmed down update for older pleos - totally possible if they can be arsed! *ugobe went under so any ugobe pleos arent as well covered by the company who now owns them - innvo. but they try their best. (theyre just not obligated!)
all in all, if you cant have real pets, or you love dinosaurs and/or robots and you dont mind the skin thing, pleo is a pretty cheap little bot and if anyone out there knows C or pawn programming you could have a lot of fun! i personally have no idea how to script. boo.
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