Design of Pleo: From Concept to Implementation


Date Thursday August 14th 2008
Time 4:00-5:00pm
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium

PARC Forum

People wonder, “How do you create a lifelike robotic dinosaur?” Part art, part engineering – there is extensive software development, research, and manufacturing behind creating such a marvel like Pleo. Pleo, a Life Form who incorporates all the basic traits of autonomous life and is specifically engineered to mimic life and relate to its owner on a personal level, has taken the robotics market by storm.

As UGOBE’s Chief Technology Officer, John Sosoka will explain the unconventional approach UGOBE took to develop such a sophisticated and technically complex product. In bringing UGOBE’s vision to life, John and team turned to ethology research to make Pleo as authentic as possible, asking, “How do animals really handle the complexity of their environment? How do you build a virtual brain and a whole internal system that decides how Pleo will react in various situations?” John will explain Pleo’s conception through implementation and the necessary steps involved in creating the UGOBE Life Operating System (Life OS) platform. He will also expand on the possible applications for this technology in the entertainment, research and education fields.


John Sosoka brings inspired ideas to life at UGOBE and heads the technological innovation at the company. Prior to UGOBE, John co-founded and acted as CTO at Neurosmith, a company focused on developmental toys for children that encourage the drive to explore, experiment, create and relate to others. Under Sosoka's technical leadership, this educational technology toy company grew to $12 million in sales and won almost every major toy industry award including "Most Innovative Toy of the Year" (TOTY). In 2003, Neurosmith was acquired by Small World Toys. Prior to Neurosmith, Sosoka held senior executive positions at Davidson & Associates, Emerson Technologies, and the Technology Application Group.

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