Thursday, March 15, 2007


Alvin Ong Jun Jie

My mum’s always complaining that pets are dirty and messy – Guess it’s time for GUPI!

GUPI is the abbreviation for Guinea Pig and it’s an evolution of “Tamagotchi” that so many of us went crazy over. GUPI is an autonomous robotic pet that is able to avoid obstacles, respond to stroking and noises as well detect infrared beams from the ‘carrot’ gadget that comes with it.

All this is possible with a wide range of sensors. It has 4 legs/wheels which enables it to move freely. GUPI's movements are pseudo-random and it’s even able to engage a maze and come out of it! Infrared sensors in its eyes and nose enable its obstacle avoidance capability. There’s also an altitude sensor in the body and pressure sensor which allows it to respond when it’s being stroked. The ‘carrot’ when pressed, sends out infrared beam that GUPI picks up and homes in on.

GUPI makes 30 different sounds and has 4 different moods; namely the baby state, learning state, happy/normal state and the sleeping state. It is highly interactive and it becomes lonely and scared and goes into hiding if neglected.

The most interesting thing is the unique identification codes in the chipsets that allows it to react to other GUPIs in the vicinity! They might eventually sing and dance with each other if they learn to accept each other and share their food – the carrot which also doubles up as a battery reloader!

It only costs about £35 Cool!

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Medical said...

Mai Kaojie

Singapore should encourage researchers to do interactive robotics. It will be the upcoming trend in the future and business opportunies are there to grab in this field. I believe the markets will be in high demand for cheap but interactive robots. Unlike AIBO which is interactive but expensive, GUPI should be in line with the current trend of consumer market.
Anywya , Singapore got sell ?

Edutainment said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Edutainment said...

U0303157 Lim Kah Guan

I agree with Kaojie in the earlier comment that our country should encourage researchers to do interactive robots.
Other that the fact that it appeals to the consumer market, it will also raise the status of local researchers.
I really hope to see a local designed consumer robot in the near future.

Home said...

Chew Yiping u0307846

In my personal opinion, research in the entertainment is important, especially those like GUPI (interactive and continuously learning).

However, researchers should always be keeping abreast of the developments from different perspectives (esp. that of the consumers) when developing a robot for the market. Which I think, in this case, the functionality lacks the oomph and products of such specialized and trivial functions would appeal to few, albeit it being conceptually sound.

dars.edutainment said...

Lim Jun Ming Kelvin U036328m
I feel interactive robots should be applied to more useful interactions, something that can help make any of our daily activities easier. Interactive robots that are pets is an interesting ideas but not for me. Its like do you like being with someone that is fake all the time and not sincere. There lacks the real sort of affection. Although the hassle of cleaning up and all that is gone, however, the fun part about pets is also gone.

dars.edutainment said...

Thanks for the feedback and comments. I guess it's really subjective as to how much a robot can effectively replace a real pet. Nonetheless, at least it provides an option for those who are keen. There are endless pros and cons, you win some you lose some. Some people might be sensitive to fur etc of real pets, or parents might even have the fear of pets attacking their kids. Well, in this case the robotic pet does come in handy. On the otherhand, as mentioned by some of you, the realism might be lost. But at the rate things are progressing, we never know what lies ahead...If you've watched I-Robot, it just simply broadens the possibilities that the future hold.