Furbies all the way down

If you get bored, just go to the 15 minute mark.

Oh, and it’s open source!

Pleo the robot dinosaur acts like a living pet — exploring, cuddling, playing, reacting and learning. Inventor Caleb Chung talks about Pleo and his wild toy career at EG07, on the week that Pleo shipped to stores for the first time.


  1. #1 Kate
    September 26, 2008

    Oh… Now I want one!

  2. #2 GrayGaffer
    September 26, 2008

    Very interesting to see Caleb. Dave is pretty much doing his own thing these days so I never heard much about Caleb.

    These AL toys can develop some surprising pathologies. Dave brought a couple of boxes full of Furbies to a conference a few years back. (hacker geeks, algorithm junkies, etc). The interesting part was not the ones that chuckled their way around the floor. It was the few that went psycho in the boxes.

    You see, not mentioned in the video here, Furbies are not only responsive to human touch, they also talk and respond to each other, which also feeds back into their behavior mods. Using IR. Accidentally turned on in a pile in a closed box. For several days. All went non-responsive, some catatonic, some screaming, some cackling maniacally. Given the scale of the firmware involved – exceptionally minimal – not an expected result.

    So I wonder if Pleos are also social with each other. At around $350, not a cheap toy like the Furbies, but much more reasonable than Sony’s foray into the field with their dog. Maybe we’ll see some interesting hacks …

  3. #3 themadlolscientist, FCD
    September 26, 2008


  4. #4 Romeo Vitelli
    September 26, 2008

    I have vivid memories of the Furby craze and other crazes before that one and having to stand in line for hours at a time waiting to buy the latest hot toy for the assorted children in my life. Fortunately, they’ve all matured to the point where I can be spared this latest toy craze. Someone else can get bunions this time.