Petimo the Interactive Robotic Cheap Toy Now this is an interesting find. Chanced upon the Petimo Toy Robot, supposedly the world’s first social networking robot! I am not sure if the toy robot would end up as a cheap toy (I would update my readers on the price once they are made known), but it sure looks cool and definitely a world's first! The Petimo Toy Robot is developed by a team led by Associate Professor Adrian Cheok from the Keio-NUS CUTE Centre. Now the Petimo may still be at its prototype state, but it has already shown great potential! Before I explain this toy in detail, maybe you would want to take a look at how this toy looks like:
Pretty cute if you ask me right? And this is just an example, the robots come in different shapes, sizes and maybe even characters! The Petimo Toy Robot is built with a furry exterior, which feels like animal skin, and has a small round physical shape, providing a warm and tender feeling of a baby animal. Doesn't it look cuddly? I'm sure children will find it friendly, lovable and adorable! Oh, and the Petimo is designed specially for children between the ages of 7 to 9 years old.
Now what is this toy robot all about and how does it link to "social networking"? As younger children are more exposed to the internet these days, it has also become more likely for them to join social networks to make friends or use them to keep in touch with their friends in the real world. However, as everybody knows, cyberspace is not a safe place for kids. Thus some researchers had the idea of introducing a toy robot, known as Petimo, that would would not only be a fun cheap toy (well I certainly hope it would be cheap!) but would also protect the children from the dangers of the online world.
With the use of the Petimo Toy Robot, children experience enhanced relationships with their friends through interactions in the real and virtual world by sending gifts and emoticons mediated by the robots with haptic, visual, and audible events. Now thats cool! The toy robot is the link to the kid's online world! In addition, interactions with the Petimo Toy Robot not only includes touching but also squeezing, thus allowing children to interact with the robot more closely and improving their emotional relationship with the robot. The Petimo Toy Robot can also be used by teachers to promote social interaction among children in class! According to Assoc Prof Cheok, he mentioned more features will be added to the Toy Robot. These include touch-screen functions, new types of covers or skins for the outer finish of the robot as well as a whole range of applications that include games and intuitive features like 3-G technology and more.