Today we held a second public demonstration. We had originally intended to demo both the Pleos and the Scribblers, but unfortunately there were few people around to demo to. That said, the Pleo demonstration seemed successful – people were interested in the little dinosaurs and curious about how they worked. For the short time I was there, I observed two key interactions.
My roommate Helen, who I have also observed with the Scribbler, came by to check out the Pleos I had told her about. As I mentioned before, she does not have experience with computer science or robotics (other than interacting with my Scribbler!), but she thought the Pleos were very interesting. She enjoyed playing with the Pleo in normal mode. Helen liked (I think it was Leslie?) Leslie’s reactions to human touch and playing tug of war. Helen wasn’t sure that having the robot speak would be a good idea, but she liked the idea of having more programmable behaviors.
I then observed two young male students interacting with the Pleo. I believe they had some computer science knowledge. They thought the Pleo was a great toy for children, and that almost anything it did would be entertaining to a child. They were enthusiastic about most ideas – as long as the Pleo was doing something, it was fun.