Robotic pets can be great toys and some of them can even become part of the family.
When real pets are often not allowed in apartments, why not get a dog robot or dinosaur robot to cheer up the home? Kids will love them, and parents can't resist either.
There is quite some choice to choose your robot friend. So what is best than a top 10 to make your choice? While a few choices barely qualify as pets or robots, the best ones will really blow your mind!
If you are the hobby type, you may be willing to program your own robotic pets. While a Bioloid, a LEGO Robot Mindstorms NXT or your own platform are a good choice, why not a Roomba vacuum robot instead?
What's the difference? For the same price, you get a robot that is always useful, even when you don't program it.
More on the iRobot Roomba vacuum robot here.
Anyway, it may not be the best choice if you really want pet robots. So let's see what's next.
Have you ever dreamed that your plush would hug you back? Well now it's possible thanks to WowWee and their series of robotic alive plushies.
Their plushies can hug you back when they feel you hug them, they react to strokes and make some sounds to express their feelings.
These robot plushies will please any kid and come in all kind of animal types from puppy to seal or from koala to panda.
If you know Robosapien, you understand how Roboraptor works. For those who don't, these are kind of remote controlled robots that can do a lot of crazy things like dancing and fighting and all. You can even play a few games with them.
But the Roboraptor has something more than Robosapien: they added moods and some emotional behaviors (aggressive, calm...). That makes this dinosaur robot one of the good robot pets out there.
Paro the robot seal is actually the best of all robotic pets. How comes it is only 7th then? Well, you just can't get it, which makes it slightly less cool.
What makes Paro such a great robot? It is actually a medical robot used to ease old people with dementia. When you take care of some pet or person, you will feel better. And this robot can give this relief to sick people.
Recently, it has been used to cheer people in disaster struck areas after the tsunami in Japan. This Japanese robot gave some relief to families who lost everything during the event.
Nao is more than robotic pets: it is a baby robot! Sounds creepy? Just look at his cute face and you'll understand how it could charm all your family so easily.
The Nao humanoid robot is still in development and doesn't have all the reactivity and emotional things just yet.
However, it is already a very good assistant that can read your mails, fetch the news (not paper like your dog, it reads from Google news!) and play quite a few games.
You can already get one thanks to the Nao Developer Program, you can get a Nao today and participate to its development.
The Genibo dog robot was created by the Koreans from DasaTech. It is kind of the next version of the Japanese robot dog Aibo (see below).
It has fewer behaviors, but costs half less and is still available to buy new, which are strong incentive already.
The Genibo robot dog can recognize your face and your some vocal orders. It can dance, and simulate emotions. You can stroke it, and stimulate it in many ways. It has limited autonomy, since it will go to sleep if left alone for 5 minutes. That means it won't come to you unexpectedly for a hug.
Finally, it can also be programmed to add functionalities, if you are the developer type.
If you want a cheap, funny, handy robot that you can take everywhere, and entertain anyone, look no further than the MyKeepon.
It is super cute like a cartoon robot and just as funny. It will dance in rythm with music: just put the radio on and look at the beast of the dance floor!
It is also small enough to fit in your car's cup holder. So you finally have something to enjoy the radio with when caught in traffic jam, or to take care of your kids on the way to vacations.
Its yellow blob body is irresistible too. You can touch it and see its reactions.
Among robotic pets, the MyKeepon is really a good deal, just like the next one.
Here are some cheap and interactive robotic pets. Since their creation in 1998, the Furbies have been instant success with every kid, and even the parents love them.
They can talk their own language. For example wee-tah-kah-loo-loo means Tell me a joke. And in 2012, Furbies are back. Click here to discover the new Furbies.
The original Furbies could dance and had a lot of built-in interactions, while the newest lack many sensors and are more like toys than robots.
Anyway, these were the first robotic pets ever created, and the 40 million units sold in their first 3 years are proof of their greatness.
I talked about it before, and you may already know about it. The Aibos were the most advanced robotic pets you could ever have until 2006.
While Nao is clearly the most advanced robot in the list, Aibo was clearly developed as a pet that could interact and play with its owners.
I read an article the other day about a Japanese family that bought 4 Aibos for their son. Each robot had its own name, its own personality and all. When you think one robot was between 3000 and 4000 USD, it means quite something.
You can still find some Aibo robot dog today on auction site (EBay, Amazon), but make sure they are in good conditions as they are still more than 1000 USD.
What can be better than a fully functional puppy robot?
At first, I didn't understand what Pleo was. But when I discovered the dozen sensors on it, I thought "How could that all fit in their?".
The Pleo dinosaur robot arrives as a baby, and will learn and develop a personality so that each Pleo will be unique after a few weeks in a family.
You can feed your pleo, it has many games, and it will crave for your attention. It has beat detections to dance in synch with the music (like MyKeepon).
If you don't take good care of your Pleo, it may fall sick or feel depressed, so be aware of your responsibility. If one day robots and artificial intelligence are considered living creatures, you might be charge of robot cruelty against your dinosaur robot!
One last great thing about the Pleo? The price is reasonable. It costs around 450 USD, which is a lot less than Genibo or Aibo and Nao.
Other pages that may interest you:
The dinosaur robot pets. Check out the Pleo and Little Inu robotic pets. Cheaper than Aibo, and still a lot of awesome features.
Robotic bugs are invading the world. Find out how robotics were created, and why you will soon find them in your home.
The dog robot pets. You wish your animal robot was a great dog pet? Look for these 2 awesome robots with advanced AI.