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Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Pleo Battery Now Removable. Slight Shipping Delay.

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During pre-production testing of Pleo, Ugobe discovered that the baby dino was not charging properly which led to a reduction in play time. This meant that you would not be able to play with Pleo for a full hour between charges. Instead of rushing Pleo out the door to meet their deadline, Ugobe is doing the hard thing and delaying Pleo slightly to fix the problem. Despite the shipping delay, Pleo will still be available by the all important holiday season this year; a critical fact for those of you who preordered Pleo or will be buying Pleo as a gift. Those of you on Ugobe's update mailing have received an E-mail by now explaining this development. The letter comes direct from Pleo inventor and Ugobe cofounder Caleb Chung.

There is a wonderful piece of news embedded in this announcement. An enhancement to Pleo that will delight those of you who requested it; including many of Pleo's play testers. Pleo will now have a removable battery pack and an external charger. This will allow you to play with Pleo for hours now, as long as you have a freshly charged battery pack handy to replace the exhausted one. This extends Pleo's play time far beyond the original one hour.

The Personal Touch

I need to share with you something that took place behind the scenes of this development. I received a personal call from Bob Christopher explaining this delay. You need to understand that I am just a small time blogger; albeit one who really loves Pleo. Still, I am not a major player like tech luminary Lance Ulanoff of PC Magazine, or a even a major gadget web site like Engadget, Gizmodo, SlashGear, BotJunkie, or i4u. I'm not even close to being in their league. I'm just a programmer writing a blog in my off hours about an artificial pet that I am enchanted with.

To have the CEO of the Ugobe, the company that is about to release the hottest robotic toy ever, to call me directly, is a testament to the integrity and sincere passion of the people behind Pleo. Ugobe is a class act and this only further strengthens my belief in them and Pleo. Am I disappointed that I'll have to wait a little longer for Pleo? Yes! But I am delighted that I'll be able to play with Pleo for more than an hour and since I'll still get him by the holidays, I feel it is worth the wait.

Here is the complete text of Caleb's E-mail:

Dear Pleo™ Fans,

During pre-production testing, the UGOBE™ team encountered some significant problems with Pleo's battery life. We solved these problems in a way that I think you will appreciate: all Pleos, including First Hatch Pleos, are now designed to have an easily removable battery and an external charger for the battery. That means that with multiple batteries and chargers, you can keep Pleo going for hours on end. However, implementing this design change will delay production. We are working hard to make sure everyone who has ordered a Pleo will receive one by the holidays.

I know how much you are looking forward to having Pleo in your life so I know this delay is frustrating. At the same time, I hope that you are as excited as I am about this design change. I'll post some video or photos soon, so you can see it yourself. Your enthusiasm for Pleo continues to be an inspiration as we work through these challenges to deliver the life form we've all been waiting for.

We'll update you in a few weeks - as soon as we know more about when we can ship. If you have any questions, take a look at the FAQs below. And make sure to stop by to see our new webisodes and participate in forum discussions.

Caleb Chung


Q: How does the external battery and charger work with Pleo?

A: The battery goes in the same place in Pleo as before (his belly), except that now it is designed to be removed easily and frequently. Once removed, the battery is charged in the external charger, then placed back in Pleo once fully charged.

Q: Why did you change to the external charger design?

A: As we neared production, we encountered some difficulties with Pleos charging consistently. Combined with the input you have given us about wanting multiple batteries that were easy to remove and charge, we decided that solving our charging problems and answering the call for an external charger was paramount.

Q: Why are you delaying shipment?

A: In pre-production testing we encountered problems getting Pleo to charge correctly. Implementing design changes to resolve the charging issue has led to the delay. We're working hard to make sure everyone who has ordered a Pleo will receive one by Christmas time.

Q: What do you mean when you say that Pleo will arrive "by the holidays"?

A: Integrating the necessary changes into the Pleo design has pushed back production, and we are unable to ship Pleo in October as planned. However, you will receive your Pleo by Christmas time. We felt it was best to let you know of the delay as soon as possible.

Q. Can I still order a Pleo and receive it before Christmas?

A: After the success with pre-orders, has completely sold out of Pleos, however our retail partners still have Pleo allocations available.

This is a post about , 's
I ordered 2 Pleos in August from Will these Pleos ship with the upgraded battery deign?
Ugobe have said "yes", including the First Hatch Pleos.
Please consider SOLAR charging for Pleo. Pleo could rest in the sunlight and recharge.. just like reptiles do!

It could even look for a sunny location when it gets hungry and wishes to "eat" and rest.

Art AL7EP M0DEJ Halifax, UK
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