Remembering Pleo the Baby Dinosaur at CES Ages Ago | Pleo the Cuddly Dinosaur Follow Dec 20, 2023 · 1 min read
Remembering Pleo the Baby Dinosaur at CES Ages Ago | Pleo the Cuddly Dinosaur
Share this

In the vast human quest to engineer increasingly adorable consumer robot companions, few have tugged heartstrings quite like Pleo. Unveiled by Ugobe at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show, Pleo the “lifelike baby dinosaur” became that year’s breakout star.

CES 2011: Innvo Labs Pleo rb

Only the size of a small kitten, the uncannily expressive Pleo still awes in recently resurfaced footage from CES’s yesteryear. Developed over 14 years by Caleb Chung, the creator of Furby, Pleo dazzled with an array of sensors and motors emulating a week-old camarasaurus. His big gazing eyes, soothing coos, and playful personality sold Pleo’s illusion of life unlike anything I’d seen in robotics up to then.

Pleo responded dynamically as you cuddled, fed, and cared for him. He’d get startled by loud noises, take naps when tired, and explore surroundings autonomously like curious young creatures do. I’ll never forget demo units in Ugobe’s crowded booth nuzzling trade show attendees who bonded instantly with their new baby dino.

The $350 toy still commands respectable prices on eBay, though Ugobe sadly folded by 2009. Jibo and Aibo later brought social robots more successfully into homes. But especially as AI drives leaps in emotive technology today, I recall little Pleo fondly for pioneering public affection for inanimate companions. He emerged from CES 2007 as a primitive, motorized E.T. - innocent and eager for human connection despite originating from alien circuitry rather than biology.

Written by Follow