Hasbro plans robotic pet range

Hasbro’s technology division, Tiger Electronics, is developing a line of robotic pets including a cat and a bird, following the success of its interactive toy dog Poo-Chi.

The US company says it is looking at building a Robo-Chi brand after selling more than 10 million of the original robo-pups worldwide in the past eight months.

The first new members of the battery operated Robo-Chi family to hit the toy aisles this spring will be Meow-Chi, an interactive cat which sings songs and plays with its mouse toy and Chirpy-Chi which comes with an ear of corn and has a repertoire of about 40 songs.

They will be followed by Dino-Chi, the robotic dinosaur, as well as more advanced versions of the original Poo-Chi robotic dog line.

Super Poo-Chi, a puppy with voice recognition, goes on sale in the UK this month and will be followed in August by Walking Poo-Chi which can sense and avoid obstacles.

All Robo-Chi pets react to light, touch and sound by changing their expressions and can interact together and sing duets.

“We are really looking to build this into a brand called Robo-Chi. The pets will all be able to interact, and even sing, together as well as with their owners,” says a spokeswoman for Tiger Electronics.

This spring Tiger is also launching Isidi – a motorised dog which starts out as a wobbly puppy but learns to walk and recognise its owner’s voice.

Isidi will retail at &£180, unlike other robotic pets targeting children above the age of four, which cost between &£25.99 and &£39.99, .

Simon Burke Hamleys’ chief executive, this week credited the Christmas cyber dog craze for helping boost the toy retailer’s like-for-like sales by ten per cent.

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