Do you remember the AIBO, a robot dog Sony first started selling in 1999? How about Poo-Chi, manufactered by Sega Toys that was released in 2000 and discontinued in 2002?
Hitting the toy market in the late 90s, robot dogs were all the rage. Everyone thought them to be top-end technology and they were certainly on many kid's wishlists for Christmas.
The Poo-Chi was one of the best virtual pets that everyone really wanted.
The AIBO was able to develop from a newborn puppy to an adult with a personality that was shaped by the interaction of their owners and surroundings.