Toy Robot Dogs. Dogs are indeed considered to be a man’s best friend among other animal creatures. But these furry beings have taken a new form recently. Try considering a toy robot dog for your kids!
Having toy pet robots for kids is not an unusual idea nowadays. As advanced inventions are created each year, kids’ gaming and entertainment experience the same kind of advancement as well. Robot dogs for pets are ideal for kids who desire to have their own pet but might be suffering from asthma or allergy.
The first toy robot believed to be invented is yellow boxy clockwork called Robot Lilliput from Japan, invented between 1930-1940. It was followed by another Japanese toy called Atomic Robot Man which was later introduced at a sci-fi convention in New York. Throughout the years, these robotic toys continued to evolve and became more and more advanced.
In 1999, another milestone in the toy industry was launched with Sony’s AIBO Entertainment Dog. Sony released 5,000 limited edition AIBO dogs, wherein 3,000 units were sold in Japan in just 20 minutes while the other 2,000 were sold in the US for four days.
Translated as ‘companion’ in Japanese, AIBO is also the shortened form of the phrase Artificial Intelligence roBOt. AIBO is more than a toy and is like a pet with emotions and impulses just like man’s furry best friend. The AIBO robot is independent and sensitive with its environment, making it capable
to learn and mature like a real living creature. Each AIBO dog develops a unique personality that depends on the environment it has experienced. It also goes through several developmental phases which depend on the owner’s interaction with the robot.
Another interesting toy robot dog pet is the i-Cybie. It was originally released by Silverlit Electronics, a Hong Kong-based company, in 2000 and was promoted and sold by Tiger Electronics the succeeding year. The product failed though, due to the undermined world market at that time. I-Cybie was re- launched in 2005 under the Outrageous distribution. This robotic pet can respond to various commands such as touch, sound, and voice through a remote control. Although it has a limited range of artificial intelligence, the pet owner cannot easily modify its programming. The i-Cybie was among the first robotic pets that could recharge itself through a self charger.
The i-Cybie which sold for just over $100 and which can still be had if you search around a bit, was a poor man's Aibo. This author still has one. It cannot play ball nor "grow with you", but it was a great show of robotics and fun to show off to friends.
Another toy robot dog that is gaining popularity among children and parents alike is the Perfect Puppy from Wowwee. The Perfect Puppy looks much like a real pet and comes in different breeds and kinds. The robotic dog boasts of interactive responses and life-like features. The most recent models released this year are Buddy, a Goldendoodle puppy and Bella, a Portugese Water Dog. These two dog-types feature Alive Touch Technology which makes them respond to people’s touch and voice. Alas, unlike Aibo, i-Cybie and a host of other Toy Robot Dogs, Perfect Puppy does not walk. It just sits in one place obviously making it a much less costly and lower maintenance robot, but taking away the charm and interactivity of the Aibo.
Aside from Perfect Puppy, Wowwee Robotics also offers another toy robot dog, Wrex the Dawg. According to Wowwee, "WowWee Wrex is a mischievous robotic pal and a real junkyard dog. Built from discarded mechanical and electrical parts, Wrex is the ultimate loveable Frankenstein pooch, despite a few loose nuts and bolts. He can roam around autonomously, but when he malfunctions, you will have to help him reset his circuits straight. Wrex the Dawgs behavior depends on his moods and desires. His three moods Happy, Angry and Crazy and three desires Exercise, Call of Nature and Hunger are expressed in Wrex the Dawgs crazy slot machine eyes. You will always know what he is thinking and feeling. Lift up his back panel to reveal the re programming buttons. You can program him to behave like a cat, perform wild actions or even dare to disobey your commands. Wrex the Dawg scampers around on his hind wheels. Take him for a stroll or let him roam around freely and he will change his moods and desires, just like a real dog."
I don't know, about Wrex, but I really wish they would bring Aibo back.