I’ve never been much of a gadget blogger. My entries on The Verge’s Circuit Breaker have been met with sentiments ranging from “is this a joke?” to “I have difficulties getting your writing style” to “this is why I swiped left on you on Tinder,” which was deleted by the moderators.
But that doesn’t mean I haven’t loved any gadgets in my time. For example, I love the PneuHound, a tiny robot dog built in the Hosoda Laboratory at Osaka University in 2016. I love my co-worker Lizzie Plaugic’s description of him, which was: “It runs frantically, but without moving very much at all. It shivers constantly. It slams its little dumb body into walls.”
I also love SynDaver Labs’ anatomically correct synthetic dog, built the same year, which Lizzie described as: “His body looks like uncooked bacon.” In fact, thinking about all the gadgets I have loved, none of them are my iPhone (which regularly tells me that the weather will be poor or that bad people are in charge of even the dumb stuff) or my TV (which only gets five channels and one of them is called “Movies!” and exclusively plays movies from 1987) or my laptop (which is covered in dirt and jam and reflects poorly on my personal hygiene). Nope! They’re all robot dogs.
Here are the four I have loved the most.
Tekno Robot Dog Silver Interactive Toy Puppy by Quest
I owned this robot dog as a child, and I totally forgot about how delightful (and terrifying!) it is, until I encountered one in Why’d You Push That Button producer Andrew Marino’s home in Brooklyn this winter. I played with it for so long, almost…