Pleo Robotic Baby Dinosaur- Creepy or Cuddly?

Update- The Pleo was my trainer’s son’s toy– I’ve corrected my typo. And it seems I will be eating my words as my 4 year old son has been diagnosed with severe allergies to cats and dogs and I’m not considering other options. Will this make a suitable pet for children with allergies? I’ve always grown up with pets and to imagine my son’s life without the love of a cuddly pet is making me very distraught… any advice from our mom snobs out there?

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My pilates trainer brought her son’s pet dinosaur Pleo to our session today. I was so disturbed by it and how she treated it– like it was a real puppy or something. She kept picking it up to cuddle and coo at it and told me with an earnest face that if Pleo does not have a nurturing environment, he will lash out and retreat or develop a mean personality. Uh okay.

Apparently it is an emotionally intelligent toy and has motion sensor cameras all over it to detect your movement and respond to your touch. Stroke his head and he’ll arch his back, touch his mouth and he’ll suckle on your finger, or call out to him or shine a light on him– he reacts the way we do– through his senses. He also plays tug of war, growls in response to your voice and shuffle alongside your tot to explore. All sounds great, right? Except it’s really really bizarre. From the site “Every Pleo is autonomous. Yes, each one begins life as a newly-hatched baby Camarasaurus, but that’s where predictability ends and individuality begins. Like any creature, Pleo feels hunger and fatigue – offset by powerful urges to explore and be nurtured. He’ll graze, nap and toddle about on his own -when he feels like it! Pleo dinosaur can change his mind and his mood, just as you do.”

Oh, and the Pleos will socialize and play with each other. I’m just wondering if one day they will plot to take over the park from their toddler masters. Creepy! What do you think of the Pleo? Creepy or Cuddly?

Me, I’d take the $349 and buy a real pet from the SCPA– why have a robot when you can save a real animal? At Pleoworld.

4 Comments

  1. Bonnie
    December 31, 2008 / 11:59 pm

    I can’t believe your pilates instructor brought it with her to a training session (now THAT is creepy). But hey, at least it doesn’t poo.

  2. JML
    January 3, 2009 / 3:16 pm

    I looked the website for this “creature” and it’s strange.

    Very strange.

    I guess some people don’t want children, but I think a child would be more obedient than this little lizard.

  3. Shareen Lee
    January 15, 2009 / 1:34 am

    Is there an “off” switch in case you can’t keep up with it? o_o

  4. Emily
    March 12, 2009 / 7:53 pm

    I have a Pleo, they are wonderful, not creepy at all. For a child with allergies it is a great idea, since they cannot collect dust like those artificial cats and dogs robots.

    They cannot become evil, there is nothing in their programming that allows for tail hitting or nonsense like that. Just give it a try, you will be surprised.

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