Cozmo is a playful, smart, cute robot that could finally make the dream of household robots a reality. This a real-life robot is like the ones you see in movies, but it’s actually real. The $180, softball-sized, fully mobile robot is part toy, part high-tech masterpiece. Using the computing power of an iPhone, Cozmo can recognize a face or detect when it’s about to roll off a table edge. It can also play simple games and stack blocks.
What can it do? Cozmo’s emotions aren’t random. They’re real and felt by everyone in the room. From curious to clever, persistent to playful, he has lots of personality, and will let you know it. He’ll be your partner in crime, developing new feelings the more you hang out. But watch out, he’s addicted to fun. Ignore him and he’ll get cranky.
Cozmo (available in October 2016) is powered by advanced robotics, A.I. and computer vision, and processes more data per second than all the Mars rovers combined. In fact, more than 300 parts make up this robot that fits in the palm of your hand. Normally, a robot with this sort of technology is an ugly, bulky thing found in fancy science labs and costs thousands of dollars. Cozmo is different.
Cozmo is fully based on computer vision and deep learning. The robot sees the world through a single camera in its face, hidden in a slot that’s meant to look like a mouth. The camera runs at 15 frames per second, sending the footage to your phone, which does all the processing before sending instructions back to the robot. So Cozmo will always have as much processing power as that fancy new computer in your pocket. The downside, of course, is that you need a phone nearby when you’re playing with the li’l bot. The phone trick didn’t solve all of Anki’s problems, either: Stein spent years working out how to compensate for the latency that comes with sending data back and forth.
So early on, Anki decided that Cozmo should appear curious: Put it down and it’ll instinctively start looking around. It’s also a pathological show-off, which is both delightfully silly and a perfectly practical way to teach users about Cozmo’s many features. The wee bot will grab one of its blocks, put it down in front of you, and announce a desire to play a game.