Cozmo – the miniature robot with an attitude – hit the shelves last week and it may be the big winner this holiday season. Looking like a synthesis of the movie Wall-e robot and his friend Eve, this little bot combines a bit of artificial intelligence and a sturdy build to deliver a fascinating toy both kids and adults can enjoy.
Built by Anki a consumer robotics company founded in 2010 by three Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute graduates, Cozmo is “the product of over six years of steadfast research and development by a
team comprised of some the best and brightest people across a variety of disciplines including PhD roboticists, worldclass animators, renowned game developers, and a lead designer of the Batmobile”.
“We are setting a new standard for the types of emotional experiences people can expect from consumer robotics products.” – Boris Sofman, CEO, Anki.
“Cozmo not only represents a physical manifestation of robots that have a deep personality and character like the ones we’ve come to love in Hollywood films,” said Boris Sofman, co-founder & CEO, Anki. “We are setting a new standard for the types of emotional experiences people can expect from consumer robotics products, and we are incredibly excited for everyone to meet Cozmo. Our robot is more than a breakthrough in entertainment as the technology within Cozmo will play an integral role in shaping other aspects of our lives.”
Central to the concept is game play. The more Cozmo and you get to know each other, the more skilled he’ll become as new activities and upgrades are unlocked. Anki has made available a free Cozmo app, which runs on compatible iOS, Android and Kindle Fire devices, comes with gameplay content.
Cozmo comes with three interactive Power Cubes that it uses for many of the games. Similar to Anki’s robotic battle-racing game, Anki OVERDRIVE, new content and game modes are introduced via free software updates.
According to the company, “Cozmo’s emotions aren’t random. His personality, driven by powerful A.I., is brought to life with complex facial expressions, a host of emotions, and his own voice and emotive language. His vision system, which includes a camera on the front of his OLED face, allows him to constantly scan his environment and recognize people. His eyes even light up when he sees a familiar face. Cozmo also comes with his own dynamic soundtrack that matches his mood and corresponds with the games and activities, elevating playtime to a uniquely cinematic experience.
Cozmo retails for $179.99 and ships with one base charger and three interactive Power Cubes.