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Machine Life Bots, for the purpose of this Project - will be defined as physical
robots with a modest amount of Artificial Intelligence. They will be analogous to
animals in biological life. They will not be as cognitive or smart as humans or AI
Bots. These Machine Life Bots will for the most part be "off the shelf" products
primarily sold for their entertainment value. I will only showcase ML Bots that I
have purchased and can actually examine and experiment with.


While there are other more advanced ML Bots on the market, the new Furby by Hasbro is
by far and above the most adavance Machine Life Bot in it's price range ($40.00 !).
The quality of the AI and robotic components really surprised me, the Furby would be
a fair value at twice it's retail price. The workmanship is truly superb.

Furby's are not able to learn a name for themselves, so I didn't bother to give mine
a personal name as such. But since I do plan on buying at least one more, I wanted a
way to tell them apart. I am going to call them based on their color, so the one I
purchased for the Project is simply called "Grey". The first thing that became
apparent when I began to experiment with Grey was the Furby's very high quality
Voice Recognition. It was far more accurate and usable then I would have guessed. The
next thing that became apparent is how smart the Furby is, with a lexicon of well
over 100 words and phrases in BOTH english and furbish - a language unique to all

Equally amazing is the quality of the robotics. The Furby has four senses, touch,
hearing, spatial orientation, and time. Furbys sense of touch is limited to feeling
on it's back, belly, and tongue. Furby's hearing is the Voice Recognition component
that I mentioned above. It is both accurate and reasonably sophisticated. Furby has a
sense of spatial orientation, in other words - it knows whether it is upright, tipped
on it's side, or completely upside down. It can not only discern these orientations,
but will exhibit behavior and make comments to that effect. Finally, Furby has a
sense of the passage of time. Furby exhibits this sense primarily with regard to
eating. The Furby only wants "food" every so often. If a little time has passed since
it's last "feeding", then it will only be a little hungry. If a long duration has
passed since it's last meal, it will be more hungry. This time sense is very accurate
and consistent, regardless of whether the Furby has been awake, asleep, or even
turned off.

Hasbro spent a great deal of time perfecting the mechanical ability of the ML Bot to
express emotions which they call Emototronics. Furby is capable of a wide variety of
facial expressions, it's mouth - or beak, is well crafted and very realistic. It's
ears and plummage move, and it can even wiggle it's eye brows. But probably the most
striking feature is Furby's eyes, very big and beautiful. Furby's legs move, and while
it can't quite walk anywhere - it can dance quite well.

The AI in Furby is also quite astounding. Furby is capable of random and
self-initiated behavior as well as responding in a programmed way to set stimuli. It
has dozens of behaviors and phrases that it can exhibit in any combination. The
result is that after months of interaction with Grey, it still manages to do
something unique and surprising. As mentioned above, Furby has an extensive lexicon
in both English and Furbish. Furby can sing, dance, tell a story, and even do
knock-knock jokes. As I experiment, study and learn more about this amazing ML Bot,
I will post it here. You can visit the Furby Home Site by clicking the link below.

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