The robot toy, Cozmo, of Anki which was released in July received lots of attention because of its artificial intelligence. It looks like any other toy robot, but from the first moment of encounter, it’s clear that Anki has very different aims for its robotic play-thing.
This expectation is primarily driven from Anki’s application of robotics through A.I. processing which makes it a character in a toy just like in movies and videogames. Once charged its OLED eyes sleepily open and it trundles off his charger. Within seconds it looks up, made eye contact and tracks the face as the owner moves around the table.
Launching the Cozmo app we could tell it our name which it’ll instantly say back to us as if it had made a new friend. The robot has its moods depending on what we are doing with it. It’s more like a pet we have in our home. Cozmo, like all pets, requires time and attention. The more time you invest in the robot, the more things it can do and the more multi-dimensional its character becomes. Our main source of interaction is through a trio of cubes that come packaged with the robot, which it’ll somewhat obsessively pick, stack, move around and even occasionally spike when he gets angry.
It has various functions like caterpillar track locomotion, lifting arms, tilting head, camera, ever active eyes and infrared sensors. Cozmo is interesting not because of its technology but because of its character. Cozmo responds as any character would — frustration, embarrassment or sometimes annoyance.
Cozmo provides a pack with three power cubes along with a charger dock for the $179.99. And also it comes with the free app which will get you started. The app lets you see how Cozmo is doing and make decisions about questions he asks you. It unlocks its new abilities with the in-game currency Sparks as you spend time with it. But we don’t control Cozmo with the app, but instead, we need to interact with him to get him do the things. We can also steer it around with app but through its A.I, it might decide not to do so. The controls are a bit tough to master, and the robot isn’t very fast so that it won’t be replacing an RC car anytime soon, but it’s a neat feature, nonetheless.