Cozmo is a small robot that looks like something from the movie Wall-E. It is no coincidence that one of the main animators of its LEDs face is Pixar ex-worker, Carlos Baena (who did work on Wall-E). With this tidbit you can have an idea of all that Anki, the creators, have invested in the robot. You might remember Anki by Overdrive, a spectacular game of remote-controlled cars that brings video games to real life.
Inevitably you’re going to love Cozmo. Go ahead!
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What are Cozmo’s functions?
One of Cozmo’s goals is to become your robotic mascot and to treat you as a friend. It has facial expressions, responds to stimuli, tracks your eyes with its face, can learn your name, looks for you to interact with, even sneezes and hiccups! All these tricks makes it adorable and together they build the Cozmo experience… Or as Dr. Frankenstein would say, “It’s alive!”
In addition to “being alive” Cozmo integrates a lot of games. Many need the 3 cubes that come with the robot. You get a memory game, one of being faster than Cozmo to touch one of the cubes, and even another one about removing a cube before it touches it.
You can also try the “Explorer mode” that converts Cozmo into remote-controled robot you’ll even be able to see through its camera. By the way, in this mode, name of the family already recognized by the robot will appear on the screen.
Within Code Lab we have the Sandbox mode which is the first and easiest of the programming modes. Here we can learn the robot’s different basic functions and create our own actions with the help of a simple Scratch-like visual programming language.
Some of Cozmo’s games in Sandbox mode
Constructor mode is an advanced programming mode that supports, among other things, variables and functions. It is the most recent Cozmo’s mode and receives more updates basically in the form of new games. These are also projects that we can open to see and learn how they are programmed.
We’re leaving out things (we haven’t said it sings, dances, or can speak and learn phrases…) But there is a lot of functionality! All this in an app with a beautiful design and gamified to the top. That is to say that, while playing, they will have to go through actions to unlock new Cozmo interactions. All very well thought off (maybe too much?) to make your small one care about the new friend.
What do I need?
A tablet, Apple or Android, to install the app (Apple app Store, Amazon Appstore or Google Playstore). Here you have a list of compatible devices. But if you want the easy way, just look for the application on the device where you want to install. If it lets you install, it should work.
There are two things to note at this point: Cozmo needs the app to run and for you to play, you need to connect to the WiFi that Cozmo creates. That is to say, we do not connect to Cozmo via Bluetooth or any other system. While playing with Cozmo, you won’t be able to access internet on that tablet or mobile, so no messages or emails. Which is not ideal if we use daddy’s cell phone to play. If it’s possible, let them use their own tablet.
What is Cozmo for?
Cozmo is intended for children 8 years and up. But we think that the target audience is broader. If your little one is not that destructive and handles well a tablet, it is easy to play even for less than 8 years old. Maybe they won’t understand the whole game, but they will grow together and will be able to access more functionality as they learn to read and expand their logical skills.
And the upper limit… Cozmo is designed so that even adults can have a good time, there is even an SDK for low level programming.
I need more! Cozmo resources
Cozmo has a good community, we have selected some of the projects that have seemed more curious or interesting:
- Scratch for Cozmo: the Visual programming language created by MIT, you know we love it!
- CozmoWeather: makes Cozmo your weatherman (weatherbot!).
- The SDK in Python and C#.
- Cozmopedia, resources for Cozmo programmers, maintained by a professor at Carnegie Mellon University.
- Awesome Cozmo: A list of all (or almost all!) existing resources related to Cozmo.
Where can I purchase it?
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You can buy Cozmo Robot by Anki through its web page or retail chains. Check price and buy at Amazon.
Cozmo box includes:
- 1 Cozmo robot.
- 1 Charger.
- 3 Interactive Cubes.
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