Posted by: robotnews | March 22, 2007

iDog – A Perfect Companion for your iPod

U0303157 Lim Kah Guan

Voila!! A new accessory for our favourite iPod. The iDog is a robot dog that exhibits behaviours and learning ability. It is designed and manufactured by Sega Toys. It is also manufactured by Hasbro which provides the iDog to North American audiences. It is also marketed as the eDog in Germany and the Netherlands.

The iDog reacts to music from an external source like the iPod and will work with any MP3 device from a 3.5mm audio jack input, and has an integrated speaker. It also reacts if placed near an audio source and has 70 built-in melodies.
All these interactions with humans are enabled with a number of switches and sensors on its nose, head and tail which allow it to react to user input.

Currently, iDog comes in various kinds of colors and designs to enhance its popularity.
I personally finds this iDog very interactive as it ‘feeds’ on the music that I played to him. Whenever an user pats it on the head or “feeds” it lots of music, at least 5 minutes every hour, iDog will show lots of flashing lights to signal that he is in good mood. However, if an user neglect him, iDog’s mood will change from excited to sad. Moreover, it also barks to let a user know that he is hungry for more music. It features seven flashing LED lights on its face that shows an user his mood and personality with tons of blinking lights patterns. In a way, it behaves like an actual dog as it requires the owner’s constant attention. iDog’s built-in speakers can be switched off by flicking his tail, but he will give a deep growl when an user deprives him of music.

Following the huge success of the cute iDog, Sega comes out with more pets like iDog-Pup, iCat, iFish and iCY. And the best thing about them is that they love music. I cannot wait to be an owner of iDog as it brings some much fun and entertainment at a mere price of USD$29.99.

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Responses

  1. Stefan Wester, NT061492M
    Yet again robots have found a new area to spread to. Not only the usual ones with space exploration, or military use. This time it the domain of music, or even iPod (as I’m guessing thats what the i trying to implicate).

    This show how robots are starting to spread out into the popular realm of small but advance toys with absolutely no use at all. As robots become easier to make, and cheaper to produce these types of toys are going to be huge. It started with the very advanced but expensive Aibo, and has reached this. What the future holds no one knows.

  2. Leaw Tiew Liang, U036391E

    The iDog not only feeds on music but also on batteries. Think the more you want to be entertained by them, the more you have to be willing to face the hassles of changing batteries.

    But i really don’t agree with Stefan’s point that this dog has no use at all. I think it’s simple toys like this that gets people excited about technology and inspire children to become great engineers when they grow up. Think about the number of students in Engineering that are there because of Transformers or Gundam.

  3. U0303157 Lim Kah Guan

    Regarding Stefan’s comment, I will like to say that this robot’s sole pupose is for entertainment. It will be subjective as to whether it is ‘useful’ or not. For me, I would not mind to have one as it will bring a smile to me

    Regarding Tiew Liang’s comment, I will think that most robots still rely on dry cells due to its mobility. Unless someone can think of new methods to power the robot, I guess we have to stick to changing their batteries.

  4. Xu Xiao U036505H

    This iDog sounds so fun… I would also like to own one…

    however, I don’t really understand the part about feeding the iDog with music. Does it mean we have to play some music on hifi/laptop, and the iDog will dance to the beat? or does it mean we have to save some music to it, just like we store music in mp3 players?

    can i say it is just an advanced version of mp3 players embodied in the body of a dog?


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