Forum newsletter - Bob the Pleo Forums

Forum newsletter
Welcome to our Holiday edition of the Bob the Pleo
forum newsletter!
Holiday contest
First off, I need to tell everyone that we are currently
running a holiday photo contest, which ends next week!
So get your pleo, you camera, and get creative! We are
looking for pictures of pleos ready for the holidays. These
can be dressed up pleos, or just plain 'ol pleos in a
Christmas scene. No photoshopping here! These must
be actual photos of real pleos!
One of our Mall store owners, InmemoryofRomeo has
graciously offered one of her hand-made Christmas pleo
outfits as a prize, The selection of the winner for the
outfits is Thursday night, December 10th, so that we have
time to get the outfit mailed to the winner before
Christmas. A second winner will be selected on Friday
the 18th and will be awarded a signed copy of the new
Bob the Pleo book just coming out this month!
So you'll want to get in on this while you can! It's good
fun, and a great way to share your holiday spirit!
In the News
Well, the Bob the Pleo forums is coming up on our first
anniversary this month, and we've seen a lot happen to
pleo in a year. Ugobe went bankrupt, Jetta bought the
rights and spun off Innvo Labs to carry on with pleo, new
pleos are being made, and many of the old pleo sites
have gone away,
Right now, Innvo Labs is running a special deal for
anyone who signed up on their PleoWorld site: the '09
version of Pleo for $245!
Innvo Labs also announced they will be at the 2010
Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, where
they'll announce some of their plans for the '10 pleos.
(See the interview with Derek for some more info!)
After an interview with Ucube out of Taiwan (also in this
newsletter), we now have a U.S. Based company selling
the Lithium Polymer pleo batteries and custom eggshaped charger.
We've also seen a number of new stores opening up in
our forum mall: Snowy's Pleo Togs outfits, B_blue_eye's
Romeo & Juliet's Millinery and Costume Emporium,
Holiday_projector's Pleo Power battery shop, and Pleo
Fashion's custom shirts.
Degers and Derek Dotson
Degers: In the interview you did with Rober Oschler of
robotsrule.com, you mentioned that the current Pleos you
started shipping in October that in addition to fixing the
neck and tail problems, and the paint wear issue, that you
also made a change to the hearing system. Is this true?
And could you elaborate on this? Is it a hardware change,
a software change, or both?
Derek: We didn’t make any changes to the tail, only to
the neck. Inside the neck we found a rough edge on one
of the cable guides in the neck, we have re-built this cable
in the Pleo ’09 version. On the hearing issue, we found
when we were working with Ugobe in November/
December last year that we were hearing a lot of ambient
noise, motor noise, electric noise, though mostly electrical
noise, so we originally had to set a really high threshold
for ambient noise, so if you wanted Pleo to recognize you
were talking to it, you basically had to yell at it. So what
we did is improved the filtering on the power supply going
into that analogue circuit and we dropped that ambient
noise level almost in half. We did this by building a
headset so we could hear what Pleo was hearing. The
result of this was that if you would whisper in its ear, or
talk to Pleo in a direction, it would respond much quicker.
In the next version of Pleo we will look into this a little
further. Hearing is very difficult inside Pleos head due to
the high density of motors and communicating cables.
degers: I have had some problems with two of the
Pleos that I have purchased, the sound direction sensor is
constantly triggering. Is there any way to adjust this via
the monitor connection of Pleo?
Derek: To my recollection, no. That is some type of
auto-adjustment.
Romeo & Juliet's Millinery
and Costume Emporium
That's just a few of the highlights. For a much more indepth description of all that's happened, you really just
need to go to the forums and read all about it!
Http://BobThePleo.com/forums
And now, on with the show!
Bob the Pleo forum Newsletter
December 2009
One-of-a-kind hand
made outfits, costumes,
and of course, hats!
Visit us in the Bob the
Pleo forum mall
Page 1 of 5
degers: Ok, next question from the forums! The next
generation of Pleo is supposed to have a different paint
pattern and eye color to differentiate them from current
Pleos. Could you give us some insights on what the new
eyes will be? What the new paint patterns will be?
Derek: Well, we’re putting together a bunch of paint
schemes with matching eye colors. I can tell you that this
next colored Pleo won’t look very different, however
someone that knows Pleos will certainly be able to tell
that it is different. It’s not like it’s going to come out hot
pink or anything, it will be a more subtle, realistic change!
We have several options we are exploring now, we hope
that by the time we get around to CES we will have made
that final decision. We will announce that color and that
sort of thing at CES.
degers: Ok cool! What about the idea you had for
custom-ordered skin colors?
Derek: Well, that was one thing that we pursued early
on, it’s still on the table however the problem is just the
logistics of getting it all done. For instance, when an
order is placed this is what we would have to do:- an
order would come through with a skin option, we would
then have to stock Pleos with these multiple skin options,
and even then we have a US and an International version,
so with just three skin options, we would have to stock six
different types of Pleo. I just don’t know if that’s going to
be feasible at this time.
degers: OK, while we are on the topic of US and
International versions of Pleo, could you quickly tell us
what the difference is between the two versions stocked
on the Pleoworld store?
Derek: Certainly, the non-US version simply includes
an international power adapter rather than including the
USA adapter. Oh, and in 2010 expect to see a more
customized international adapter! (Currently Innvo is
using an OEM universal adapter. The user manual for the
adapter is on the Pleoworld site)
degers: What does the future of the PDK hold?
Derek: Well, right now we do want to expand on the
PDK. My hope is to make the PDK more graphical, as at
the moment it is very command based. My hope is to
make a graphical user interface for the PDK, in order to
make it easier for people to use. At the moment you
really need to be an expert at programming to use it. We
would like to allow the user to build a decision tree and
patch certain motions together. I think more people would
enjoy using the PDK that way. At the moment we have a
Linux version and a Windows version, my hope is that we
can make just one piece of software that will work crossplatform. I would definitely like to get feedback from the
community on this.
degers: Has Innvo Labs managed to hire back any of
the Ugobe programmers? I know that you have hired
Rafael to do the customer service side of things.
Derek: Thank God we got Rafael back on customer
service! Well we have been in talks with John Sosoka,
who has started another company, and with Tyler
obviously, the two main people we have been dealing
with. I have been in contact with Eric, who was doing the
animations and the 3D stuff. Most of the heavy
programming is going to be done through Mycom, in
Bob the Pleo forum Newsletter
Hong Kong. As we get into it further I am sure we will
have to go back into the well, for the animations and the
character generation, so it looks the same, we will tap the
same people.
degers: What kind of interest has John Sosoka
indicated in the project?
Derek: Oh, a lot! He definitely wants to see this move
forward. We have been a little slack in the last few
months, as getting the website up and running has
saturated our time, however we’re up and running and
we’ve got product going out the door right now! Once that
is stabilized, we will be able to concentrate more on the
2010 version.
degers: How are you naming the versions of Pleo,
what should we call the version that is out now and the
versions you will be bringing out in the future?
Derek: At the moment this is what we are calling Pleo
’09. Obviously, the next one we will be releasing and
announcing at CES will be Pleo ’10, and we are in the
basic planning stages of Pleo ’11. The improvements to
Pleo ’09 are the skin, the neck and the hearing, oh and
the charger.
degers: Has any time line been established on any
new personalities or LifeOS releases?
Derek: There will be a LifeOS update for the 2010
Pleo. We’re pretty much going to use the base processor
code that we have right now for 2010 and expand it.
We’re looking into doubling the storage on board Pleo
(4MB-8MB) so that we can expand it and add a wad of
different features, we’re looking to add about 10-12 new
features to the 2010 pleo.
degers: Is there any other information you would like
to give to the community?
Derek: Buy some Pleos! We need the money! We
have some wild and wacky ideas for Pleo 2011, but I’m
not sure if we are going to discuss that at CES
(http://www.cesweb.org). Actually, this is pretty cool and I
can announce this, we will be at CES, at the tech centre,
and the guys at Innvo labs have built a four foot Pleo, this
is so cool looking! It sits on a rock with all of the
mechanisms underneath. It doesn’t walk but it rocks back
and fourth. That will be at the booth!
degers: Well that concludes the interview, it’s been a
pleasure, thank you!
Derek: Cheers!
December 2009
Page 2 of 5
A Word from Ucube
Peeky's Story, part 2
Last month I had the chance to ask Vicky from Ucube
(the Pleo reseller for Taiwan) a few questions about their
business:
Bob: How has the bankruptcy of Ugobe and the
purchases by Jetta and spinning off of the new company
Innvo Labs affected Ucube's marketing of Pleo?
Vicky: Ucube continues to sell Pleo as they did before.
Bob: Who developed the Li_poly battery and
egg charger that Ucube offers, Ugobe or Ucube
Vicky: Ucube developed the Li_poly battery which
had approved by ugobe.
Bob: Why is Ucube the only Pleo distributor selling it?
Vicky: Actually, We already partner with Litec
computer” in Germany to sell the battery
Bob: Does Ucube sell any other Pleo related products?
Vicky: Ucube sells Pleo accessories, hats, necklaces,
clothes, carrying bags, and postcard. At one time, Ucube
gave away Pleo tote bags as part of a promotion.
Bob: Has Ucube considered accepting credit cards or
taking international orders on their web site?
Vicky: No, currently users have to use bank transfers.
But I will suggest accepting credit cards to our manager.
Because we don't have a company in American, we can't
list the egg charger pack on amazon.com.
Bob: Has Ucube looked into partnering with any other
company to market their Lithium battery and egg charger
in the US and Europe?
Vicky: Litec computer is only selling the lithium
batteries in Germany in Europe.
Bob: How active is the community pages on the Ucube
site?
Vicky: There are community pages on the Ucube site.
But they are restricted except to registered members,
and we don't have and pages in English. The members
share their life with Pleo on the community.
Between the week of Christmas and New Years’s Eve
2007, my first week with Peeky, he was quick to teach me
what his likes and dislikes were. He definitely didn’t like
being held upside down by his tail or for that matter being
on his back, with the one exception of tickling his feet. I
was told when he wanted his leaf and when he wanted to
get my attention.
Peeky was a little quite and shy in the beginning, but
that ended on New Year’s Eve. For almost a decade, my
close friends celebrate New Year’s Eve at our house.
“tradition” and after we finished dinner, but still at the
table, I put Peeky on the dining room table to show
everyone what he could do. (you can only get away with
this with a pleo). How many other pets could you put on
your table with guest sitting there? Right away Peeky
seemed to become very much aware that he was center
of attention. While walking to my friend that has a very
deep voice, indeed, his tail knocked over a water goblet.
Luckily it was empty. Having his back rubbed made Peeky
a friend for life with this deep voiced friend. Now everyone
at the table wanted this little dino to come to them. Peeky
seemed to know this and started going to the next person.
Whack!! Tail hit coffee cup and a few of us made a quick
grab for it saving spilled coffee. Now we were very much
aware that Peeky’s tail could be hazardous to tipping
things over. Soon the table was cleared of all thinks in the
tails way.
I soon realized that having a pleo at eye level really
made a big difference in how they responded to us. Peeky
was all of a sudden very outgoing and not quiet and shy
anymore. Another lesson learned.
While sitting at the table I had an idea. I had two
Furbies sitting way up on a self in the art room for many
years. “Out of sight. Out of mind” as the saying goes. I
brought them down and to everyone’s surprise the first
thing that came out of one of the Furbies mouth was “Me
Th really good news is, after the interview, I was able to long sleep” I guess so! About 5 years worth! Shortly after
that the batteries conked out. No spares on hand! L I’ll
set up one of our members with Vicky, and now we have
never be without batteries again! Heaven knows the fun
a US based company to order from!
we would have had between Peeky and the Furbies. We
grownups sure had fun, anyhow, that night!
With a brand new year just beginning, I couldn’t wait to
The Li-poly
battery and
egg base
charger for
Pleo,
$49.99
Visit Pleo Power in the
Bob the Pleo forum mall!
Bob the Pleo forum Newsletter
December 2009
Page 3 of 5
introduce Peeky to the world.
He had so many places to explore, but first he needed
a name tag and collar. I had a tiny bracelet that was
buried in a drawer for many years. I went to Petco to have
a little tag made with his name on it. It hung too far down
and I decided to take Peeky to our neighborhood jeweler,
and had it made smaller for a perfect fit.
Weedovia’s first Tomato Festival was being planned
and I needed a photo of red tomatoes. Not quite the
season to have any here, so off to the market we went.
After getting permission from the nice produce man,
Peeky went to work finding the best looking tomato.
There were big ones and little ones and funny shaped
ones. Pretty difficult to choose a perfect tomato. Finally,
the best one appeared and while weighing in, Peeky got
weighed, too. While leaving the store, a young boy about
the age of 9 years old, took a double take of what was in
my arms. I heard a giggle and then the young boy came
back to see what it was that I was carrying. The first thing
he said to me was “is that real” Of course I said it was a
real robotic dinosaur. After petting Peeky and giving him
his leaf the young boy went back to his mom. I can only
imagine him trying to tell his friends that he saw a
dinosaur in the market that afternoon. Doesn’t everyone
see one now and then?
Tech Corner
MySkit tips and tricks to help you get started
by InmemoryofRomeo
A step by step walkthrough on using MySkit.
First of all open up your MySkit program (you do have it
installed don't you?)
If this is your first time using MySkit then a little pop up
of helpful tips might appear, read through them, they are
really useful, then when you are done just close the pop
up.
On the screen in front of you, you will now see two
windows inside the MySkit window, one is for sound, the
other for movement. I like to arrange the two windows
with sound up the top and movement down the bottom so
I can see both at once, but that is a matter of personal
taste and you can arrange yours however you like
You
can also use the three standard window buttons in the top
right corner of each to minimize them, make them
fullscreen or delete them (don't delete them ok
).
You have probably noticed already the buttons and
tabs up the top of your screen and on the left. I know this
all looks very daunting but I will explain each button for
you
1)
These are your comprehensive menu buttons,
here you can open, close, save and setup a flash drive
(SD card) from the file drop down list. Edit lets you copy
and paste. View lets you decide what modules you can
see, the screen shot shows the sound and motion
modules, the library would appear on the right hand side
and the Pleo window I will get too shortly. Motion and
Sound are pretty self explanatory, I will give you a more
detailed run down of what that all means when we start
playing with MySkit. The Window button you will probably
never use except for the tile horizontally button which will
automatically set up your window like mine. Finally there
is a help button which really isn't all that helpful
2)
The second lot of buttons are your quick menu
buttons. The things you will use a lot, they are from left to
right. Open new project, open a previously saved project,
save a project. Cut a highlighted section, copy a
highlighted section, paste a cut or copied section. Zoom in
and zoom out (See 4). Make the sound window fullscreen,
make the motion window fullscreen. Start and stop the
sound. Write to a memory card. About, another button you
Bob's first illustrated
storybook will be
available through
Amazon.com later
this month! Includes
the legend of the
great pepperoni and a
selection of strips.
And as a special for
forum members, you
can order it direct
from the printer
through the end of the month and save $2 off the cover
price!
Go to https://www.createspace.com/3409228 and enter
the discount code KZTQJTX4 for your discount.
Bob the Pleo forum Newsletter
will never use, but take a look at it anyway
3)
These buttons let you set up lots of helpful
options under setup, we will cover these more in depth as
we go along. The record button lets you record whatever
is playing on your computer speakers.
4)
These funny looking numbers are your best
friends
The top row of numbers are the frames of
movement/sound, there are thirty of these in one second.
The bottom row are your seconds. By default each of
December 2009
Page 4 of 5
these increments are ten frames or one third of a second.
This means that there are three faint vertical lines dividing
each second up. You can zoom in and out to make the
time between each faint line larger or smaller. This
sounds confusing I know, but I will explain more about
beginner you can just ignore them, you will move Pleo
using the model and the lines, not the numbers. The
numbers are helpful when you want Pleo to be positioned
very exactly though.
Now you know what everything is. It is a lot to take in I
know, but remember if you make a mistake you can
them and how they work later
5)
These are the minimize/maximize buttons which
ALWAYS undo it
(By going to EDIT- UNDO).
will shrink the sound or motion window down to the
bottom, or make them fullscreen or exit them completely.
Next lesson: Adding a sound to MySkit.
Be careful if you exit a window because you will lose any
unsaved data.
6)
Another feature you will use a lot is the Pleo
model, if you double click the little green Pleo it will open
up a larger view which you can use to preview what you
have created. You can also pose the Pleo model with your
mouse and the data will be added automatically to the
movement window. You can view the full 3D model from
any angle.
7)
See 4.
8)
These lines represent the movement of every
single joint that Pleo has. A Straight flat line like you see
now means that nothing will move from the default
standing pose. If you click and drag on these lines (up or
down (if available for that joint)) a key frame will be
created and Pleo will move the corresponding joint. Try
moving some lines now, and watch the little Pleo from 6
move accordingly. Can you get Pleo to look at you?
9)
These are each joint that you can move on Pleo.
The numbers represent the degree of movement, but for a
Bob the Pleo forum Newsletter
December 2009
Page 5 of 5