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Publication numberUS20020094851 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/808,119
Publication dateJul 18, 2002
Filing dateMar 15, 2001
Priority dateJan 16, 2001
Publication number09808119, 808119, US 2002/0094851 A1, US 2002/094851 A1, US 20020094851 A1, US 20020094851A1, US 2002094851 A1, US 2002094851A1, US-A1-20020094851, US-A1-2002094851, US2002/0094851A1, US2002/094851A1, US20020094851 A1, US20020094851A1, US2002094851 A1, US2002094851A1
InventorsJin Rheey
Original AssigneeRheey Jin Sung
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of breeding robot pet using on-line and off-line systems simultaneously
US 20020094851 A1
Abstract
The present invention provides a method of breeding robot pet using on-line and off-line systems simultaneously, in which digital food, ampule, or game data are downloaded from the game server through the Internet for breeding a robot pet, playing games using a robot pet, and mating a robot pet.
A user who owns a robot pet can access to the game server of breeding robot pet of the present invention through the Internet using a user terminal such as personal computer and then download food, ampule for curing sickness, games playable using the robot pet, songs, etc. from the game server through the user terminal. The robot pet grows older with time if the robot pet is timely supplied with a predetermined amount of food With increase of its age, the robot pet would serve a better function and can download new and age-limited games.
The game server further provides a community service which enables the owners of robot pet to exchange information with each other.
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Claims(11)
What is claimed is:
1. A method of breeding robot pet using a robot pet comprising a data interface for data communication with external devices and a memory in which the data and program about growth and behavior can be stored, an Internet compatible user terminal which allows communication with said robot pet; and a game server of breeding robot pet which is accessible through the Internet using said user terminal and allows specific data which is relevant to breeding robot pet to be transmitted to said robot pet through the Internet and said user terminal, the method comprising the steps of
a) accessing said game server using said user terminal,
b) initializing said robot pet by transmitting initialization data from said game server to said robot pet through said user terminal;
c) requesting download of data for breeding robot pet from said game server using said user terminal,
d) transmitting said requested data from said game server to said robot pet via said user terminal; and,
e) activating said robot pet's specific function associated with said data, in compliance with the receipt of said data.
2. The method of breeding robot pet as set forth in claim 1, wherein said data for breeding robot pet are food data and said robot pet's power which enables said robot pet to remain vitalized is increased by a predetermined amount by receiving said food data.
3. The method of breeding robot pet as set forth in claim 1, wherein said data for breeding robot pet are ampule data for curing disease of said robot pet and the affected state of said robot pet is removed by receiving said ampule data.
4. The method of breeding robot pet as set forth in claim 1, wherein said data for breeding robot pet are game data which allow said robot pet to carry out specific games and said robot pet's specific functions associated with said game data are activated by receiving said game data.
5. The method of breeding robot pet as set forth in claim 1, wherein the digital data are transmitted by the way that a specific area in the display part of said user terminal is made to blink with a predetermined brightness and said robot pet can recognize said digital data in said step d).
6. The method of breeding robot pet as set forth in claim 1, wherein a certain rate of commission is charged for the transmission of data in said step d).
7. A method of breeding robot pet using a robot pet comprising a data interface for data communication with external devices and a memory in which the data and pro-ram about growth and behavior can be stored; an Internet compatible user terminal which allows communication with robot pet, a game server of breeding robot pet which is accessible through the Internet using said user terminal and allows specific data which is relevant to breeding robot pet to be transmitted to said robot pet through the Internet and said user terminal, and, a database which is linked to said game server and stores information of said robot pet, said information including said robot pet's age and power which indicates the state of said robot pet,
wherein said specific data are food data which enable said robot pet to remain vitalized and ampule data which can cure disease of said robot pet,
the method comprising the steps of:
a) said game server varies the power of said robot pet at every transmission of said food or ampule data by making said power be a function whose parameters are frequencies of transmission of said food and ampule data, and then stores the varied value of power in said database, and,
b) said game server increases the age of said robot pet and stores the increased age in said database if said power value of robot pet is not less than a predetermined value.
8. The method of breeding robot pet as set forth in claim 7, which further comprises a step following said step b), wherein said increased value of age is transmitted from said game server to said robot pet.
9. The method of breeding robot pet as set forth in claim 7, wherein said database stores the latest time of transmission of food data,
the method further comprising a step following said step a), wherein said game server varies the power of said robot pet at every transmission of food data by making said power be a function whose parameter is the time difference between the current time and said latest time of transmission of food data, and then stores the varied value of power in said database.
10. A method of breeding robot pet using a robot pet comprising a data interface for data communication with external devices and a memory in which the data and program about growth and behavior can be stored; an Internet compatible user terminal which allows communication with robot pet, a game server of breeding robot pet which is accessible through the Internet using said user terminal and allows specific data associated with the functions of said robot pet to be transmitted to said robot pet through the Internet and said user terminal, and, a database which is linked to said game server and stores information of said robot pet including age and sexuality,
wherein said specific data associated with the functions of said robot pet are game data which allow said robot pet to carry out a specific game, and said game data include such information as the age and/or sexuality permitted for carrying out said game,
the method comprising the steps of
a) requesting download of said game data after having accessed said game server using said user terminal;
b) comparing the information of the permitted age and/or sexuality involved in said requested game data with the information of said robot pet's age and/or sexuality stored in said database;
c) transmitting said game data from said game server to said robot pet through said user terminal if said information of robot pet's age and/or sexuality meets conditions from said information of the permitted age and/or sexuality as a result of said comparison; and,
d) activating specific functions of said robot pet which are associated with said game data, in compliance with the receipt of said game data.
11. The method of breeding robot pet as set forth in claim 10, further comprising a step of displaying a message that said game data cannot be downloaded through said user terminal if said information of robot pet's age and/or sexuality does not meet conditions from said information of the permitted age and/or sexuality as a result of said comparison.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a method of breeding a robot pet using on-line and off-line systems simultaneously

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] In recent years, games in which a digital pet is bred up like a real pet have been developed. A game called ‘Tamagotchi’ is one of the front-runners, which is a digital pet housed in a game machine and supposed to be raised by its owner, who should feed it well and play with it as if breeding a real pet Tamagotchi makes responses as a real pet does in various situations and has functions in which it might fall sick or even die if it is not carefully looked after.

[0005] Following Tamagotchi, such games in which a digital pet is raised not on a game machine but on the Internet have been developed To elaborate, users raise a digital pet like a real pet after having made the digital pet in a specific site on the Internet. In such games, multiple users each raise a digital pet in the same site on the Internet, so that the users can play games with their pets or make their pets run a race with other pets.

[0006] Further, the lately-developed Digimon which is a game of breeding cyber character using a game machine is similar to Tamagotchi in the light of breeding a cyber character using a game machine However, Digimon is equipped with an additional function in which a battle game or the like can be played between two cyber characters using two game machines

[0007] The present invention has been conceived by considering the above, the object of which is to provide a method of breeding robot pet using on-line and off-line systems simultaneously

[0008] It is a further object of the present invention to provide a method of breeding robot pet in which a variety of functions can be added continuously.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] The present invention provides a method of breeding robot pet using on-line and off-line systems simultaneously, wherein digital food, ampule, or game data are downloaded from the game server through the Internet for breeding a robot pet, playing games using a robot pet, and mating a robot pet.

[0010] The method of breeding robot pet according to the present invention uses a robot pet comprising a data interface for communication of data with external devices and a memory in which the data and program about growth and behavior can be stored, an Internet compatible user terminal which allows communication with robot pet; and, a game server of breeding robot pet which is accessible through the Internet using the user terminal and allows specific data which is relevant to breeding robot pet to be transmitted to the robot pet through the Internet and the user terminal. The method comprises the step of accessing the game server using a user terminal; the step of initializing the robot pet by transmitting initialization data from the game server to the robot pet through the user terminal; the step of requesting download of data for breeding robot pet from the game server using the user terminal; the step of transmitting the requested data from the game server to the robot pet via the user terminal; and the step of activating the robot pet's specific functions associated with the data, in compliance with the receipt of the data.

[0011] Here, the data for breeding robot pet can be the robot pet's food data and the power of robot pet which keeps the robot pet being vitalized can be increased by a predetermined amount by receiving the food data. Further, the data for breeding robot pet can be the ampule data for curing sickness of robot pet and the affected state of robot pet can be removed by receiving the ampule data Still further, the data for breeding robot pet can be the game data which allow the robot pet to carry out a specific game and the functions of robot pet associated with the game data can be activated by receiving the game data.

[0012] In the step of transmitting data for breeding robot pet from the game server to the robot pet, it is preferred that the digital data are transmitted by the way that a specific area in the display part of user terminal is made to blink with a predetermined brightness and the robot pet recognize the digital data by sensing the blinking.

[0013] Further, in the step of transmitting data for breeding robot pet from the game server to the robot pet, a certain rate of commission can be charged for the transmission of data.

[0014] Another method of breeding robot pet according to the present invention uses a robot pet comprising a data interface for data communication with external devices and a memory in which the data and program about growth and behavior can be stored, an Internet compatible user terminal which allows communication with robot pet; a game server of breeding robot pet which is accessible through the Internet using the user terminal and allows specific data which is relevant to breeding robot pet to be transmitted to the robot pet through the Internet and the user terminal; and, a database which is linked to the game server and stores information of the robot pet, the information including the robot pet's age and power which indicates the state of the robot pet The specific data imply food data which keep the robot pet vitalized and ampule data which heal disease of the robot pet And, the method comprises the step of varying the power of the robot pet at every transmission of food or ampule data by letting the power be a function whose parameters are frequencies of transmission of food and ampule data and then storing the varied value of power in the database, and, the step of increasing age of the robot pet if the power value of the robot pet is not less than a predetermined one and then storing the increased age in the database

[0015] Here, the method can further comprise a step wherein the game server transmits the increased age to the robot pet after storing the age in the database

[0016] Furthermore, the database stores the latest time when the food data have been transmitted, so that, after the step of varying the power of the robot pet and storing the varied value of power in the database, a further step can be included wherein the game server varies the power of robot pet at every transmission of food data, by letting the power be a function whose parameter is the time difference between the current time and the latest time of food transmission, and then stores the varied value of power in the database.

[0017] Another method of breeding robot pet according to the present invention uses a robot pet comprising a data interface for communication of data with external devices and a memory in which the data and program about growth and behavior can be stored; an Internet compatible user terminal which allows communication with robot pet; a game server of breeding robot pet which is accessible through the Internet using the user terminal and allows specific data associated with the functions of the robot pet to be transmitted to the robot pet through the Internet and the user terminal, and, a database which is linked to the game server and stores information of the robot pet including age and sexuality of the robot pet. The specific data associated with the functions of robot pet imply game data which allow the robot pet to carry out a specific game and the game data include such information as the age and/or sexuality which is permitted for playing a specific game. And, the method comprises the step of accessing the game server using the user terminal and then requesting download of game data; the step of comparing the information of the permitted age and/or sexuality involved in the requested game data with the information of the robot pet's age and/or sexuality stored in the database; the step of transmitting game data from the game server to the robot pet through the user terminal if the information of robot pet's age and/or sexuality meets conditions from the information of the permitted age and/or sexuality, and the step of activating specific functions of the robot pet which are associated with the game data, in compliance with the receipt of the game data

[0018] Here, the method can further comprise a step wherein a message implying that the requested game data cannot be downloaded is displayed through the user terminal if the information of the robot pet's age and/or sexuality does not meet conditions from the information of the permitted age and/or sexuality.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019]FIG. 1 shows overall network connection of the system for embodying the method according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0020]FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating hardware construction of the robot pet according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0021]FIG. 3 is an example of initial screen which is provided to the user in the game service according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention

[0022]FIG. 4 is an example of download screen which is provided to the user in the game service according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention

[0023]FIG. 5 is a flow chart illustrating the process of growth of robot pet in the method according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0024]FIG. 6 is a flow chart illustrating the process in which the age-limited and the sex-limited games are downloaded in the method according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention

[0025]FIG. 7 is an exemplified screen of the community service which is provided to users in the game service according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0026] Below, a preferred embodiment of the present invention will be described in detail, making reference to the accompanying drawings.

[0027]FIG. 1 shows overall network connection of the system for embodying the method of breeding robot pet in the preferred embodiment according to the present invention.

[0028] The system for breeding robot pet according to the present invention comprises game server 300 which provides a game service of breeding robot pet and database 400 which stores information of each robot pet. A user can access to game server 300 through the Internet 500 using his terminal 200 Such user terminal 200 as is capable of accessing game server 300 may include a personal computer, PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), mobile phone, etc The user can make his robot pet 100 communicate with game server 300 through his terminal 200.

[0029] Now, a description of construction of robot pet 100 will be given in detail, referring to FIG. 2 First, robot pet 100 comprises a data communication interface 180 for data communication with game server 300. A variety of means can be used for data communication interface 180, including infrared communication interface, acousticcoupled communication interface, wireless communication interface such as Blue tooth, wired communication interface such as RS-232C or USB which uses a wired connection means, and a communication interface using light sense Game server 300 can be accessible through user terminal 200 such as computer, cellular telephone, PDA, etc. which is connectable to the Internet by using the above means

[0030] Further, without using computer, cellular telephone, PDA, etc, a communication means such as modem, LAN interface, etc. can be provided to robot pet 100 so as to directly access to game server 300 through the Internet.

[0031] In case of using an infrared communication interface, wireless communication interface or the like, the infrared communication interface, wireless communication interface, etc. should be pre-provided to user terminal 200 which is computer, cellular telephone, PDA, etc. Then, a user can make transmission and reception of data between his terminal 200 and robot pet 100 via data communication interface 180 after having accessed to game server 300 through the Internet using his terminal 200 The user can further make data communication with game server 300 using his terminal 200 in the Internet environment.

[0032] Robot pet 100 further comprises a memory 190 for storing various programs, ID of robot pet 100, current power of robot pet 100, etc Such memory 190 may include a nonvolatile memory such as ROM (Read-Only Memory), EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable ROM), flash memory, etc and a volatile memory such as DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory), SRAM (Static Random Access Memory), etc. Further, CD-ROM or magnetic memory device can be used as a subordinate memory device.

[0033] Further, robot pet 100 is provided with a motor driving part 120, which enables robot pet 100 to move back and forth, left and right. Infrared generating and sensing part 130 is used for robot pet 100 to avoid impact by sensing objects automatically while moving or to move where it intends to go. In case that it is unnecessary to sense objects automatically for modification of the racing track, Infrared generating and sensing part 130 is not provided.

[0034] Sound sensing part 140 is provided so as for robot pet 100 to detect sounds and to make a response consistent therewith. For example, robot pet 100 can be made to move or to stop when a person claps. Further, if sound sensing part 140 is provided together with the function of voice recognition, it is possible to make robot pet 100 respond to a human command

[0035] Mode setting part 150 is used for setting a behavior mode of robot pet 100. For example, robot pet 100 can be made to play a competition game with another robot pet by setting a competition game mode, or can be made to play about by itself by setting an exercise mode. Mode setting part 150 can be embodied by using a typical button, a touch-screen with display part 160, or an infrared-employing remote controller, but its embodiment is not limited to a specific method.

[0036] Display part 160 shows the state of robot pet 100 by using LED (Light Emitting Diode) or LCD (Liquid Crystal Display), etc. or sends user a message which is helpful to user with respect to using functions of robot pet 100 Further, display part 160 can also be used when the user wants to chat with robot pet 100.

[0037] Sound generating part 170 is used for robot pet 100 to send a message to its user. For example, when robot pet 100 is hungry, it begins whining or it will sing a song when happy. Sound generating part 170 comprises a sound generating device such as buzzer, piezo device, speaker, etc and a sound source device such as melody IC, etc

[0038] Control part 110 is preprogrammed to control each of the parts of robot pet 100 Control part 110 can be embodied by software using microprocessor or by hardware using logic device.

[0039] Robot pet 100 grows and behaves by receiving food or ampule from game server 300. In addition, game server 300 stores a variety of games which are playable using robot pet 100 and the user can play such games by downloading the games to his robot pet 100 through his terminal 200 after having accessed game server 300 using his terminal 200. There are ball-rolling, pushing, racing, etc which can be played using robot pet 100. Further, game server 300 can establish additional behaviors of robot pet 100 or permissible ranges of games depending on age or power, by using such information which are stored in database 400 as the age or the power of robot pet 100.

[0040] Such information as stored in database 400 may further comprise the information of user who is the owner of robot pet or the detailed information of robot pet, etc. including the above-mentioned information Personal information such as user ID, password, name, identification card number, address, e-mail address, telephone number, etc may be included in the information of user As for the detailed information of robot pet, such information as serial no. (product no ) of robot pet, ID, age, sexuality, name, power, time of the latest download of food/ampule, games or songs housed in robot pet, etc. may be included.

[0041] Now, the process of breeding robot pet and of playing games with robot pet using the method pursuant to the present invention will be described in detail below

[0042] First, a user who owns robot pet registers himself as a member after having accessed the game server which provides the method as per the present invention. The robot pet has a predetermined amount of food therein at the time of purchase However, the robot pet should obtain the necessary food by downloading it from the game server because it consumes food as it behaves. Accordingly, in order to make his robot pet grow continuously and to enjoy off-line games using his robot pet, the user should download the necessary food data or other data from the game server, for which, the user should first register himself as a member after having accessed the game server. Then, he can use such download service. On the other hand, it is common that owners of real pet organize a circle, in which they exchange information of their pets or make their pets have a mate. Likewise, the present invention can provide a community service in which the owners of robot pet can meet together to exchange information. For the community service, members-only system is an indispensable requirement.

[0043] In order to join in, a user should first register his user ID and a password and then register his robot pet. If a user who owns plural robot pets wishes to join, he may have two user IDs, or join with one user ID and then register plural robot pets. In case of choosing the former method, one user ID corresponds to one robot pet, so that the robot pets can be identified by using the user IDs

[0044] It is also possible to employ a method such as to make pre-registration not obligatory on users and allow non-members to download necessary data, while at the same time providing additional service such as community service for members. In this case, the game server only stores the information of robot pet using serial no. (product no.) of each robot pet or its ID, with no storage of user information.

[0045] An exemplified initial screen of service which briefly shows functions provided by the game server according to the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 3 As can be seen in FIG. 3, ‘register’ menu 310 and ‘how to use’ menu 320 are provided, and also, 'shopping menu 330 is provided so that a user can access the game server for online purchase of robot pet or its peripheral devices (game tools, etc.) The most important function that can be provided by the game server is ‘download’ 340 service, of which a detailed description will be given below. A ‘community’ menu 350 is also provided for community activities as aforementioned

[0046] After having registered himself as a member by accessing the game server, a user can download food, ampule, or games from the game server.

[0047] An exemplified screen provided to user when he selects ‘download’ 340 menu in FIG. 3, is illustrated in FIG. 4. First, the robot pet should be initialized prior to the first download The initialization can be carried out by clicking ‘initialization’ button 410 provided in a screen as in FIG. 4. When clicking the button, robot pet 100 and game server 300 communicate with each other through user terminal 200 and game server 300 receives information of robot pet 100 and stores them in database 400. Then, game server establishes an environment in which robot pet 100 can download food or games, etc. In addition to the first initialization, further initialization should be carried out in a case where the specification of user terminal 200 is changed or the communication method is changed between user terminal 200 and robot pet 100

[0048] Once the download environment has been established by completion of initialization, the user can download food or games to his robot pet. If the desired item is clicked in FIG. 4, the selected item is to be ready for download.

[0049] It is feasible to prevent the selected item from being downloaded in case that the robot pet cannot accommodate the item. For example, the amount of food that a robot pet can possess at a time is limited. Hence, no more food can be downloaded in a state that the robot pet already has the maximum amount of food As to songs, the songs that are already stored in the robot pet can be prevented from being downloaded since such songs are unnecessary to download. As for games, some games can be prevented from downloading depending on age of robot pet since games can be provided in a limitative manner depending on age of robot pet Ampules may be downloaded only when the robot pet has caught a disease (for example, when a robot pet has become sick with no food provided).

[0050] Such restrictions with downloading as aforementioned can be placed after finding out about the state of robot pet by communicating with the robot pet Or else, the restrictions can be placed on the part of recipient, to wit, on the part of the robot pet after the game server transmits the requested data to the robot pet with no restriction

[0051] Among the download items in FIG. 4, “Love Diti” item provides a mating service for the robot pets of different sexuality with each other.

[0052] On the other hand, a predetermined rate of commission can be charged for each download item whenever the food, ampule, new functions, songs, etc are requested for download.

[0053] As described above, a user accesses the game server to initialize, raise, and cure his robot pet and to enjoy online/offline games using his robot pet by downloading the necessary items. Since the robot pet consumes food as it behaves, the user should access the game server and download the food whenever needed. Further, the game server continues to register new games or songs and then provides them to users, so that their robot pets can continuously be equipped with additional functions.

[0054] Further, a robot pet can grow through care administered to the robot pet by its caretaker such as feeding, playing, etc. Now, the growth algorithm of robot pet will be described below A robot pet can have its own growth algorithm in which it grows automatically using hardware or software housed therein. However, it is preferred that the game server controls the growth of robot pet using the information of robot pet. Below, a description of the latter will be given

[0055] A flow chart showing growth of robot pet is illustrated in FIG. 5 Robot pets can grow in various manners, but basically, the growth of robot pet is associated with the amount of food downloaded If a robot pet is not fed in a timely manner, it will catch a disease. Once affected by a disease, the robot pet should first be cured using ampule prior to being fed. As such, growth of robot pet is further associated with the amount of ampule downloaded. To elaborate, the age of robot pet can be controlled by such a method wherein the power of robot pet which is the function of the downloaded amount of food and ampule is first set, and then, whenever the power reaches a predetermined value k, the age of robot pet is increased; here, if food is successfully downloaded, the power is increased by a predetermined amount Δn, and if ampule is downloaded, the power is decreased by a predetermined amount Δm.

[0056] As seen in FIG. 5, a user initializes (S520) his robot pet as the need arises after having accessed (S510) the game server and then downloads (S530) food Here, if the food is successfully downloaded, a predetermined amount Δn is added (S540) to the power ‘Successful download of food’ means that the food is downloaded to the robot pet in a timely manner Namely, the power will not be increased despite the download of food if the robot pet already has the maximum amount of food or it cannot eat food due to sickness.

[0057] Next, if the user succeeds (S550) in downloading ampule, a predetermined amount Δm is subtracted (S560) from the power. Here, the subtracted amount Δm is preferred to be larger than the added amount Δn. The same rule is applied to the case of ampule download, so that the power value is decreased only when the ampule is successfully downloaded. That is, the downloading of ampule is basically impossible, or, if ever done, cannot decrease the power if the robot pet is in good state of health.

[0058] Then, the modified value of power is compared (S570) with the predetermined value k which is the requirement for increasing the age As a result of comparison, if the power value is not less than the predetermined value k, the age of robot pet is increased (S580) by one year; otherwise, the former steps are repeatedly taken

[0059] In case that the age is increased, the robot pet can be made to behave a specific motion consistent with the increase of age. While at the same time increasing the age by one year, the game server transmits the result of such increase to the robot pet for modifying the age inside the robot pet and making it sing a birthday song or dance for joy, etc.

[0060] Further, with respect to making robot pet grow, it is desirable that the more the interaction occurs between the robot pet and its caretaker, the faster the robot pet grows. Therefore, in addition to the amount of food download, the time interval of food download can be used as a parameter for increasing the age of robot pet To do this, the game server stores the latest time of food download for each robot pet and counts the time interval to the next download In this regard, however, since robot pets consume their food as their operation, a frequently-behaving robot pet, to wit, the robot pet whose caretaker plays with it frequently, consumes larger amount of food, and accordingly, the time interval of food download should naturally shorten in comparison with such robot pet as neglected by its caretaker and rarely behaving Therefore, a robot pet in a good deal of behavior has a shorter length of time than a robot pet in no behavior Here, the length of time indicates such time as taken to reach a predetermined value of power after same amount of food has been downloaded. Accordingly, although the growth of robot pet is controlled only by using the frequencies of food and ampule download as aforementioned, it is appreciated that the growth of robot pet so controlled reflects the interaction of robot pet with its caretaker.

[0061] Further, the game server provides a variety of online/offline games playable using robot pet, some of which are provided in a limitative manner depending on age or sexuality of robot pet. To elaborate, a robot pet comes to behave more agilely and improve its capability of accommodating inputs from outside as it grows older, so that there should be provided such games as cannot be played till the robot pet reaches a certain level of capability. Especially, the games with respect to mating should not be made usable before the robot pet reaches a certain age. Furthermore, robot pets can be made to use different programs depending on their sexuality A description of method in which download of game is restricted or allowed will be given below. A flow chart of this method is illustrated in FIG. 6.

[0062] First, as in the conventional method of downloading, a user initializes (S620) his robot pet if necessary after having accessed (S610) the game server Next, the user requests (S630) download of games using his terminal, and the game server checks (S640) if there is age limit or sex limit involved in the requested games If there is any limitation, the game server confirms (S650) the age and sexuality of the robot pet whose owner requested download of games, referring to the database. As a result of confirmation, if the robot pet is qualified to download the games, the game server allows (S660) download of the games Otherwise, the game server sends (S670) a message to the effect that the requested games cannot be downloaded (for example, “This game is not allowed to a pet under age 3.” Or “This game is available only to female Titis.”, etc.).

[0063] In a case where the age or sexuality of robot pet is not stored in the database, the game server can do the same way as aforementioned, after finding out the age and sexuality of robot pet by communicating with the robot pet

[0064] Further, the game server of the present invention can provide a community service in which the owners of robot pet can exchange information of their pets or make them mate with other pets

[0065] The community service is available to members of the game server of the present invention The services provided through community may encompass news 710, finding a friend 720, finding a mate 730, note 740 and chatting 750, etc, as illustrated in FIG. 7.

[0066] While the present invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to the preferred embodiments, it should be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and detail may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims

[0067] So far as has been described, according to the present invention, a user can online download food or games, etc, breed an offline robot pet, and play games using the robot pet, whereby the interest of users can be stimulated and the continuous provision of new games and functions is possible.

[0068] Further, the profit of the service provider can be secured by carrying an advertisement, etc, since the growth of robot pet should indispensably involve online access to the game server

Referenced by
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US7442108 *Oct 26, 2007Oct 28, 2008GanzSystem and method for toy adoption marketing
US7465212 *Dec 30, 2004Dec 16, 2008GanzSystem and method for toy adoption and marketing
US7534157Dec 30, 2004May 19, 2009GanzSystem and method for toy adoption and marketing
US7568964Oct 14, 2008Aug 4, 2009GanzSystem and method for toy adoption and marketing
US7599802 *Jun 10, 2004Oct 6, 2009Evan HarwoodV-life matching and mating system
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Classifications
U.S. Classification463/1, 463/42
International ClassificationA63F13/00, A63F13/12, A63H11/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F13/00, A63H11/00, G06F19/00, A63F13/12, A63F2300/407, A63F2300/8058
European ClassificationA63F13/12