In our talk we first describe the idea behind Pleo and its hard- and software features. According to its brochure, Pleo is an “artificial lifeform”. Primarily created by Ugobe, Pleo is now produced by a company called “Innovo Labs”.
Pleo is a robot with the shape of a small dinosaur. The explicit aim of Pleos developers was to build a robot, that interacts especially on the emotional level with its owner. This relatively new approach to human-robot-interaction makes Pleo an interesting platform for scientists working in this field.

We conducted a study to find out how people react to Pleo and investigated in factors that were likely to have influence the reactions and attitudes towards Pleo, such as age, sex or personality. The subjects interacted with Pleo in two different settings: unstructured (Instruction: “Get to know Pleo”) and structured (Performing little tasks like “Make Pleo sleep”). In the unstructured situation we found occurrence of social behavior - but also as means to explore Pleos functionality. By adding structure to the context, the behavior of the subjects got more task oriented.

To increase Pleos possibilities of interaction, the community created various software programs and performed hacks of Pleos hardware, such as adding a wireless serial connection (XBee) or replacing Pleos built-in camera with a RF-spy cam to transmit image data to a PC where it could processed (e.g. face recognition). We will present these both hacks, our experience with WoZ-settings and one crucial problem: the break down of the serial connection by static electricity.



Dr. Martin Diruf
Group for Interdisciplinary Psychology
Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg


Montag, 19. April 2010, 16 Uhr


Universität Ulm, Oberer Eselsberg, N27, Raum 2.033