Pets don't only help teach kids how to be responsible, they're also a harsh object lesson in the definitiveness of death — unless you go the robot route. Robo-puppies might not be believable just yet, but this tiny robot turtle looks pretty convincing when swimming around inside a tank. And if you find it just floating there one morning, all you need to do is change the batteries.
Using a pair of soft silicone flippers Zuru's ROBO Turtle can crawl on land, but it behaves far more lifelike when you drop it in a tank of water. A pair of sensors on its back automatically detect when touched, or H2O, so it will automatically start swimming when it hits the water. And it's smart enough to know when it's hit a wall, switching to swimming with just one flipper to help it get turned around and on its way.
The ROBO Turtle by itself will sell for just $US10, but a playset that includes a small soft-sided tank is also available for an extra $US20, complete with a faux rock for your faux turtle to call its faux home. [Zuru]