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They say nice things come in small packages, and that couldn’t be more true of Anki’s must-have robot, Cozmo. The little robot looks as if it’s come straight out of a Hollywood movie, and it has the brains and the personality to reinforce that impression. Before its UK launch in September this year, How It Works magazine was invited to meet Cozmo, the droid dubbed a ‘supercomputer on treads’.
As soon as you wake Cozmo from his charging pad, via the interactive app downloaded onto a smartphone or tablet, his animatronics come into play. He greets the party with a sleepy yawn and casually rolls off the pad, lifting his arms and making curious noises.
Cozmo has been meticulously programmed with flexible behaviours that are activated at various times, and so before prompting you to play a game via the companion app, he may choose to wander and explore. At this point his advanced sensor equipment maps the terrain in front of him and his small, manoeuvrable body easily navigates the flat surface.
It never forgets a face
After roaming for a while he stops, raises his head and pivots on the spot, searching for a familiar face. Cozmo’s cameras can swiftly identify human features (as well as those of cats and dogs), and after being instructed to commit a new face to memory, he will recognize that person in future.
Although Cozmo’s personality is apparent as soon he wakes, it doesn’t truly come to the fore until you bring out his Interactive Power Cubes. You can play multiple games against Cozmo this way, and watch as he either celebrates a victory with a squeak and a twirl with his arms raised, or throws a tantrum after a defeat.
Alternatively, you can let him play with the cubes himself and admire his advanced processing power as he aligns himself with his stack of assembled cubes – and laugh as he mischievously knocks them over shortly afterwards.
Before long Cozmo had been sent back to his charge pad and was snoring loudly. As we had yet to see his violent sneezing, acrobatic flips, and many more of his quirks and features, we can't wait to wake him up again soon.