Video: Adorable robot dog is playful like the real thing

Credit: Stewart Wolpin/DVICE

Spin Master's Zoomer may lack many of the attributes that we commonly think of as cuddly (like fur, paws, that sort of thing), but it acts and moves more like a real, live puppy than any robot dog I've ever run across. Even though it moves on wheels, its body mimics the wiggly, tail-wagging happiness of an excitable pup, and its LED eyes light up in patterns to express its mood.

Like a real dog, Zoomer (which reminded me of a spotted 1950s version of Snoopy) can learn tricks, like rolling over and playing dead. Its LED eyes even turn into "X"s to complete the illusion. It can also see with cameras and will recognize people and things, and will even come if you call it — or not, just like a real willful doggy.

Zoomer is definitely a "he" — he lifts its leg to pee, as you can see below in a video I shot of Zoomer at this week's Toy Fair. As you'll also notice, Zoomer's balled feet can easily navigate carpeting.

You'll get 20 to 40 minutes of puppy play time on a full recharge of Zoomer's battery, but no puddles on the floor or chewed-up slippers, and you can safely store him in a closet for indefinite periods of time. Look for it in August for about $100.

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