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Robotics Businesses Toys

Ugobe, Maker of Pleo, Files For Bankruptcy 79

AshboryBassPlayer writes "Ugobe has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy — i.e., not reorganization but liquidation. We first discussed the company's Pleo robotic dinosaur toy in 2006. According to the company, 100,000 Pleos were sold in 2008. CEO Caleb Chung is optimistic about the auction value of intellectual property that Ugobe holds. Pleo featured 14 servo joints, a camera, and an SD Card for storage. The final street prices were commonly between $275 and $350, much higher than an earlier hoped-for price point under $200."
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Ugobe, Maker of Pleo, Files For Bankruptcy

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  • Re:Pleo? Ugobe? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EdZ ( 755139 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @01:01PM (#27703685)
    IIRC, there were at least two demonstrations of it prior to it actually being sold. Both used the EXACT SAME scripted series of actions,and both were claimed to be unscripted reactions to the environment.
  • Re:Pleo? Ugobe? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MyLongNickName ( 822545 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @01:14PM (#27703863) Journal

    Yup.... cuz not hearing about some obscure toy that didn't even last two years makes you unworthy of being a geek.

  • by MBCook ( 132727 ) <> on Friday April 24, 2009 @03:43PM (#27705763) Homepage

    It's not the same.

    I've got a Pleo, and I love the little thing. There are many things that go into why I like it so much.

    First, it's cute. I don't think that can be overstated. While WowWee has made some neat stuff (like the first RoboSpaian), they go for the high-tech-futuristic look. Pleo was designed to be about the size of a real juvenile dinosaur. He looks cute and inviting. The skin was designed to simulate the correct texture (or at least as best we can guess).

    Second is interaction with Pleo. While he is limited once an adult, their "hatching" sequence is a ton of fun and really helps make the toy. First Pleo does next to nothing, then it complains and tries to move around. It slowly gets better and better at walking and other actions until it's an "adult". This makes it feel much more alive than a "turn it on and it's ready to kill" type robot. He doesn't just stop moving to save battery, he goes to sleep and acts the part. When you make a loud noise or touch him, he slowly wakes up again.

    I can't see enough to tell from their site, but I really wonder if the RoboReptile has as many joints as a Pleo.

    They aim at different markets. One's a killer robot toy, the other is a "living" baby dinosaur toy. Pleo was awesome, but it was never going to succeed. It was sort of sold as a geek toy to help subsidize the development of LifeOS to put in other toys until they came up with something cheaper. I don't think they could have succeeded except during an economic boom. I'm not surprised they didn't last, but I'm glad I have my amazing little Pleo.

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