Tekno or Robopet - Which Robotic Dog Is For You?

The Tekno robotic puppy was a popular robot released in 2000 by Manley Toys. Although since discontinued, it is still sought after. We wondered how the Tekno would compare to a Robopet, given the Robopet's more recent release. While there are other robotic dogs out there, the Tekno caught our eye due its popularity. Here's our quick take.

The Tekno looks more like a dog than the Robopet, and even has ears that move up and down. They both have 4 legs, heads and numerous sensors. Tekno does have a tail. While the Tekno can forward, it can't turn, whereas Robopet can walk forward, back up, turn, roll over, sit, lie down and stand.

The Tekno does not come with a remote control like the Robopet; most interaction with the Tekno is via the touch sensors on and around its head; it does have light and sound sensors as well. From the moment both toys are powered on, they start moving, making sounds, etc. Robopet will start moving around and randomly performing some of its tricks. Tekno requires more attention, as it 'expects' petting, feeding, etc. While any orders or responses to Robopet are taken with the remote control, Tekno requires direct touch or perhaps clapping or talking. Neither robot recognizes voice commands though.

Some features that Tekno has that Robopet does not have include: it can be used as an alarm clock, it senses light levels and will 'go to sleep' when it gets dark and wake up with light, and it speaks a few words and phrases in English. Robopet, on the other hand, will wander around quite happily, avoiding obstacles (and even edges in edge detection mode), and randomly performing its tricks and behaviors. The owner can 'train' Robopet by emphasizing or discouraging certain behaviors with the push of remote control buttons.

In general, we see the Tekno as being a robotic version of a Tamagotchi, while the Robopet is more of a remote controlled toy with AI-type features. however, the Tekno does have some cool features that could be integrated into the next generation of the Robopet to make it even better. If you are interested in finding out more about the Tekno (which you can still pick up on eBay, etc.), the Virtual Pet website has a page on it, and you may also download its instruction manual. Of course, you can find lots more info on the Robopet right here on RoboCommunity.