Where’s Holden?

12 comments September 14th, 2006at 09:28pm Posted by Eli

From the always-fascinating and sometimes-alarming Pink Tentacle, it’s My Little Robot Pony!

Dreaming of owning a pony, but anxious about taking on the necessary responsibilities? Fret no more, there’s an alternative. By the end of the year, Sega Toys will begin selling a life-sized robotic pony.

The 1.2-meter tall, battery-operated Dream Pony (Yume-Kouma) is outfitted with sensors that enable it to react to its environment. Pet the pony’s neck and back and it shakes it head and moves its ears and tail in appreciation, just like the real deal. Dream Pony also responds to audio and visual stimuli with a whole repetoire of reactions – including an anxious-sounding whinny when the room becomes dark and a jerk of the head in response to a sudden loud noise. Dream Pony also comes with a plastic carrot that it attempts to eat when held in front of its face.


Another of Sega’s recent mechanical pets is the popular Dream Cat Smile (Yume-Neko Sumairu), previously known as Near Me (Nyaa Mii is a Japanese play on words mimicking the sound a cat makes). There is a fantastic video (.wmv) on the Near Me homepage (near the bottom) that is worth a look. Another video of Dream Cat Smile can be found on YouTube here. The fluffy white feline is priced at just over 8,000 yen (US$70).

Sega Toys has made significant progress in carving out a market for alternative pets for families unable to keep real animals, and the company is now developing virtual dogs and birds to capitalize on the rising demand for “healing” pet robots. Blade Runner, here we come.

Creepy or cool? What say you?

Entry Filed under: Technology,Weirdness


  • 1. The Kenosha Kid  |  September 14th, 2006 at 10:41 pm

    Me no likey Dream Cat Smile! Dream Cat Smile very creepy!

  • 2. Eli  |  September 14th, 2006 at 10:55 pm

    Me no likey Dream Cat Smile! Dream Cat Smile very creepy!


  • 3. Swim  |  September 15th, 2006 at 12:51 am

    This is now the 3rd time I’ve tried to leave a comment on your site…I just switched over to blogger beta and it tells me wrong password…errrgg..

    Anyway. Holden and ponies in the first sentence i thought this post was going to be your revisiting of “Catcher” Oh well. ;)

    I wanted to thank you for coming over to my place today and expressing your anger and insight. I can’t tell you how nice it is to see you over there. Thanks.

  • 4. Polly  |  September 15th, 2006 at 4:24 am

    Plastic pets? Robotic plastic “pets.”

    That’s the most alarming, distressing bit of pop culture I’ve heard of this week. Other than politics.

    Charlie Rose tonite (Thurs) had on three guys all busy explaining how the Rethugs were in better shape for this election than people think. Adam Nagourny from the NYT, an editor from Time mag. and fellow named Halperin. The editor from Time says Bush’s ratings will improve because he is now telling us that “we’re in a war to save civilization.”

    Will anybody but the Bush cultists believe such overweaning nonsense? Charlie Rose didn’t ask he leaves something to be desired as an interviewer.

    The politics is distressing enough, but to think of poor children being stuck with a plastic “pet”, instead of a warm, breathing fur-covered purring/barking/chirping, living critter maybe Bush is right. Maybe this is the end of civilization.

  • 5. Eli  |  September 15th, 2006 at 7:39 am

    No problem, Hope. Election and media reform are my two biggest hot-button topics.

    Polly, didn’t you get the memo? *Everything* is good news for the Republicans.

    “President Bush caught in bed with a teenage boy? It just proves he has a healthy, virile sex drive, and that he’s not a homophobe, and that he *really* loves kids, and I think the American people will really respond positively to that message.”

  • 6. Anonymous  |  September 15th, 2006 at 8:52 am



  • 7. Anonymous  |  September 15th, 2006 at 2:53 pm

    Is it anatomaticlly correct for some of our more rural friends?

  • 8. flory  |  September 15th, 2006 at 6:16 pm


    to paraphrase somebody or other…..

  • 9. NYMary  |  September 16th, 2006 at 8:00 am

    Creepy, but not as creepy as the animatronic monkey head.

  • 10. Eli  |  September 16th, 2006 at 9:30 am

    Creepy, but not as creepy as the animatronic monkey head.

    I totally want to get one of those for the shadowy and mysterious Codename V. And put it somewhere so it’s the last thing she sees before she goes to sleep.

  • 11. The Kenosha Kid  |  September 18th, 2006 at 9:03 pm

    Is this thread dead? Is it too late to post a link to a robot riding a bicycle?

  • 12. Eli  |  September 18th, 2006 at 9:09 pm

    It’s never too late for robots riding bicycles.

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