Robots can do useful things, like vacuuming your floors and mowing your lawn. They can also be educational, teaching young people to build and program electronic devices. The Anki Cozmo is neither useful nor educational in the strictest sense. It exists for one essential purpose: It has personality. And boy, on the personality front, this robot really delivers.
Some reviewers compare Cozmo to a character out of a Pixar movie, and it's easy to see the resemblance. His face is a rectangular LCD screen and his only features are a pair of eyes, but those eyes are at least as expressive as Eve's, the charming space-bot from the Pixar movie Wall-E. He responds intelligently to his environment, including you, and when he meets his new owners, he may attack their hands with his forklift-like arms. But once his facial recognition software gets to know you, he'll become more friendly – and more competitive! There are a number of games you can play with Cozmo using the flashing, glowing cubes that come with him. If he wins, he'll look smug. If he loses . . . well, he may just knock the blocks over out of anger. Leave him alone, and he'll wander around his environment on tractor treads, muttering about what he finds in chirpy robot-speak and getting annoyed if you ignore him too long.
Cozmo and his built-in "emotion engine" – designed by robotics experts from Carnegie Mellon University – may well be the smartest robot on the market, one that learns from experience. The downloadable smartphone app sets a series of goals for you and Cozmo each day, much like the quests in a role-playing game. It's your interactions with Cozmo that shape his personality, from a grouchy bot to a playful one. If you're a software developer, you can even write code for Cozmo. (For more details, see the Anki developers site.)
Because Cozmo is an extremely sophisticated bot, his programming SDK (software developers kit) is for experienced coders only. If you want a robot that your kids can program in a simpler language, look at the Makeblock Codeybot or the Ozobot Evo. But Cozmo's charming and playful personality makes those guys seem like, well, nothing more than robots.
Super fun and interactive robot. It's like a special friend.
To put this short, this robot seems alive he reacts and responds with real emotions.
He's great! I played with him for about a half hour, and he's a lot of fun so far.
He keeps me very occupied and thinking. I can see where he is very expandable.
The personality is adorable. The interaction is amazing, so life like.
The facial recognition is amazing! I highly recommend if you have a tech lover!
It needs to be activated every now and again through a special Wi-Fi network, and getting it to wake up can sometimes be tricky.