Last Updated on December 18, 2019 by Danielle
New Robo-pup from Hasbro teaches kids early coding skills.
Hasbro unveiled its new robot dog, Proto Max, at the 2017 New York Toy Fair. This new robo-dog is part of the FurReal Friends line of animatronics pets. FurReal Friends Proto Max will retail for $120 and kids will be able to customize the dog’s behavior and character in addition to learning coding.
Proto Max teaches the basics of programming and is targeted toward children ages 6 and older. Kids can choose one of three personalities – small, medium, or large with a dial on the pup. This affects the pup’s temperament, adjusting the volume of its voice and how it reacts to stimuli. Additional behavioral traits can be set using an iOS/Android app.
The robo-pup features 10 trigger areas on its ears, nose, tail, and back. Using the app, you can customize or program how Proto responds to interactions with these areas. For instance, you can customize the pup to smile when you pet its back.
Surprisingly, it is not its looks that make Proto Max charming. It features a transparent body so kids can see the insides. In user studies, kids liked being able to inside the toy. It’s both endearing and gratifying when the toy comes to life and actually responds to your touch.
Proto Max moves around, barks, and shows expressions via its LCD screen eyes. Kids can also combine actions in more advanced code parts of the app. So you could make your pup bark twice, spin around, and emit a different color when you pet it. There is also an option that allows you to choose what Proto does when it hears sounds.
Hasbro says that Proto Max was not designed to be a pet replacement for kids, but rather a toy that teaches them how things work. Hasbro has plans to bring games to the app, challenging kids to solve problems and serving as a teaching tool.