While Sony’s Aibo may be able to recognise its owner, take pictures and be able to live semi- autonomously its over £1000. For those looking for a robot on a budget, Pino may just be up your street.
Standing some 15inches tall, the plastic robot has a somewhat friendly air about him and reacts according to how you treat him. Depending on how well or not so well you treat Pino will determine what personality he will take on: shy, naughty, or friendly and these will also determine how he responses to commands.
Like most robotic toys, Pino has a learning stage; three to be exact and if you want him to do more adventurous things other than just beep at you you’ll have to play. More play means more prizes and these prizes involves him walking and dancing. If you’re worried about how you’ll know how Pino is feeling his visor offers some feedback in the way of different colours - green for okay, red for excited and so on.
With a £50 price tag you shouldn't expect much from this little fella and he is akin to the range of animal robots that filled the stores three or four years ago.
However, this isn't yet another patrot or dog robot and for that reason he does take on a more human character as he sings and dances his way in your heart. For kids (the box does say 8+) this is great fun as the robot will grow and learn the more they play with him. For adults looking to enliven the office, we played for about ten minutes before complaints started coming in and the poor chap had to go back in the box. Noisy and good fun, although this will be a five minute wonder for the easily bored.