Anki is a company at the leading edge of artificial intelligence who just happen to make toys, incredible toys. Cozmo is their latest creation and he’s a self-aware artificially intelligent robot, a tiny robotic bulldozer to be precise.
Equipped with a front facing camera Coz scans his surroundings, recognizing faces and interacts with the people he meets. His friendly LCD face is dominated by a pair of large charismatic eyes, eyes capable of portraying emotion. He even snores when he’s asleep on the charger.
Anki’s AI toys don’t operate via a fixed script like traditional robotic toys. Cozmo for example won’t always react the same in any given situation. Instead he uses the latest deep learning technology to in effect write and re-write his own script as he goes along.
As with many gadgets a smartphone is required to run the gadgets app. Coz’s app provides the usual control functions and also uses the smartphones processing power to help with learning. This does make a smartphone essential for Cozmo to spring to life but it’s a small price to pay for big smarts.
The Cozmo Starter Pack will hit shelves this October for $179.99 (pre-order for 159.99), America only initially. The pack will include 3 interactive power cubes, drive on/drive-off charger and 1 self-aware Cozmo robot. Nice.
Here at Highpants we get the feeling Anki will sell as many Cozmo’s as they can make. Giving toys personality is a difficult thing and Coz seems to have it in spades.