Teska robot dog

Now that Sony's Aibo has been put down, there is a void in the world of robot pets. Teska, a former challenger to the Aibo has had a new paint job and some upgrading to its AI. But are the results worth the bother? We give the dog a bone and find out.

Small, white, robotic and full of happiness, Teska for those not in the know is a robotic dog that will follow your every command.

Play ball, bark at the TV and basically run around causing havoc is the name of the game only with the knowledge that this little mongrel won't eat your slippers or cost you thousands in vet bills.

At £39.99 you shouldn't expect much. After all the Aibo was a staggering £1500. When we said it will follow you every command we weren't completely telling the truth. In an attempt to make sure you don't expect too much, the makers have made sure that in the instructions there is a small mention "That Teska may not all ways do as you command".

Of course its makers say that this is because the little pouch is a puppy straight out the box, either way like a tamagotchi you've got to make sure you give it plenty of love else it won't be very happy. A sad Teska means it won't perform tricks and that means you've wasted 40 quid for a overly large paperweight with ears.

Play, so to speak, involves telling the robot it’s a "Good boy" or rubbing one of the many sensors on either his head, back or nose. Get it right and you'll be rewarded with puppy sounds, wagging of ears and tail via its fully articulated legs and animated eyes that any hypnotist would be proud of.

Of course just like a real dog barking at the back door you probably won't understand a word it's saying and so you also get a remote control complete with translator to help you know what is going on.

Verdict

This is pure Christmas day stuff. Open the box which took an age to get into, fire the mutt up and then watch while it wonders around your living room sending your real dog psycho.

Four hours later when Telksa as gone to sleep along with the kids you'll sneak up behind it and fix the off button so its stays off.

Great fun but only if you've got the patience. At least a real dog can be trained to get your slippers.