Author Topic: Ugobe, Maker of Pleo, Files For Bankruptcy  (Read 1314 times)

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Offline AdminTopic starter

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Ugobe, Maker of Pleo, Files For Bankruptcy
« on: April 25, 2009, 10:18:33 AM »
I just saw this on /. To be honest, I never saw the Pleo robots any more exciting than a very expensive Furby ;D

Quote
"Ugobe has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy i.e., not reorganization but liquidation. We first discussed the company's Pleo robotic dinosaur toy in 2006. According to the company, 100,000 Pleos were sold in 2008. CEO Caleb Chung is optimistic about the auction value of intellectual property that Ugobe holds. Pleo featured 14 servo joints, a camera, and an SD Card for storage. The final street prices were commonly between $275 and $350, much higher than an earlier hoped-for price point under $200."

http://www.idahobusiness.net/archive.htm/2009/04/21/Ugobe-Inc-files-for-Chapter-7-bankruptcy
http://www.slashgear.com/ugobe-files-for-bankruptcy-no-more-pleo-2141364/

Offline hgordon

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Re: Ugobe, Maker of Pleo, Files For Bankruptcy
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2009, 08:46:59 AM »
The first Sony Aibo had the same problem - interesting core technology, but a closed architecture without a viable host communication link, and a concept that there might be a market for a $2500 robotic pet.  I owned one of the first Aibo's, but sold it shortly thereafter on ebay because it was basically useless.  Sony later added Wifi and opened the platform to developers, and Aibo had a very good run as the basis for 4-legged Robocup soccer and numerous robot development platforms.  It ultimately sold more than 150,000 units at $1700+, and might have continued life if Sony hadn't gone through restructuring and cut a lot of programs.

The Pleo was likewise based on the same flawed vision, but they didn't make the transition in time.  Closed architecture and lack of wireless communications is a dead end for this type of platform, but a wireless programmable robot with camera and 14 servos for $$350 would have gained a lot of support from the developer community and ultimately could have done quite well.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2009, 08:51:23 AM by hgordon »
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