I first came across the Anki Cozmo robot last November when watching Phillip Schofield’s How To Spend It Well. It looked great, and so clever, learning as it played.
So 8 months down the line I thought I would take a more in depth look. First of all, an introduction from Mark Wesley, one of the engineers that works on the Cozmo.
First of all I have to start with the fact that it is not large at around 20 cm square. When I think of robots I always imagine them at least knee high, but what it lacks in height it makes up for in functions.
Cozmo is an intelligent robot that plays with you, and learns about it’s environment. It shows feelings, and it’s rather cute face (display) will keep you amused. Thanks to artificial intelligence, Cozmo can express hundreds of emotions. It also learns to recognise faces – up to about 8.
Using the app that is required, you can code Cozmo with Code Lab – a simple coding tool. Simply drag some blocks on your app and Cozmo will follow the instructions. He is also great at lifting his Power Cubes and stacking them on top of each other.
Using Explorer Mode you can see on his display what he sees. I think this and the Code Lab are perfectly demonstrated in this video:
Who wouldn’t want to play tricks on their teenage brother?
I’ve mentioned that Cozmo is quite small, but he is extremely tough. As well as being built to last, there are no worries when it comes to data security.
What age range would appreciate Cozmo? It’s recommended for ages 8 and upwards. But with owner reviewers up into their 40’s you can see that it has a wide attraction. If you have more than one child then they can all have apps on their phone or tablet to control Cozmo – but not all at the same time. Maybe a great idea for when they are at home at different times.
It comes boxed with 1 Cozmo robot, 1 charger, and 3 Power Cubes. I was very impressed by one reviewer who said that by playing with Cozmo her 9 year old son, whos suffers from autism, was learning about playing for the fun of playing rather than having to win. He doesn’t have many friends so finds the social interaction of Cozmo a great addition to his life.
Overall Cozmo is a great toy robot. It is a toy built by a robotics company, which puts it way ahead of any toy company made robots. Yes it is small, and it is expensive, but the coding skills learnt, the way it interacts with you as it learns, and it’s all round entertainment value make this a great buy for someone interested in a little friend.
If you do buy Cozmo and you want to take him to friends, you may be interested in the hard carrying case specifically designed for purpose.