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Review of the Cozmo Anki – Is it as Great As it’s Made Out to Be?

Gadgets & Gizmos

Review of the Cozmo Anki – Is it as Great As it’s Made Out to Be?

Most of us know that robotics are advancing at a rapid pace, and DARPA robots are now capable of running spy missions, carrying gear and supplies to soldiers on front lines, and even replacing soldiers (or well, drones are). But the world of robotics has largely been limmited to the practical or the experimental, with items like the Moley Robot Chef designed to replace human labor rather than to entertain. Despite that, the robotics movement actually has its roots in entertainment and toys, and robotic dogs like the Sony AIBO have achieved near cult status.

Today, there are plenty of generic robotics that you can purchase as toys, but nothing that’s truly new, exciting, or unique. That is, until the Cozmo Anki came along.

Meet the Cozmo Anki, the little robot with emotions all it’s own… or at least the ability to mimic them.

This tiny little robot fits into the palm of the average hand, but is packed with a big personality. The toy robot is programmed with a unique personality and the ability to learn, so that it adapts to your behavior and choices over time. This ‘learning’ from interaction also eventually means that every Cozmo Anki is slightly unique, in that each will pick up new things depending on what you do with it.

Cozmo Anki Features

The Cozmo Anki – The Cozmo Anki is a small tracked robot with a variety of capabilities. The robot is autonomous, and moves around on its own, but can be commanded through the app. The toy is programmed to play games, interact, and show emotions in response to real life stimulus, and features moving parts including eyes and a front loader, combined with sounds to add to the verisimilitude of the experience.

Power Cubes – Cozmo Anki comes with three power cubes, which allow him to play and interact with you. Out of the box, he comes with three games, but as you play with him more, you can unlock upgrades and new games.

Programming – Cozmo Anki comes with an open SDK kit, so programmers and learning programmers can design their own apps and commands for Cozmo. You can also find out what other people are doing on the open forum, share your own programming, and collaborate with others.

Review of the Cozmo Anki

Cozmo Anki, Cozmo Anki Review, Toy Robotics

The Cozmo Anki takes a few minutes to set up out of the box, and only requires that you have a newer iOS or Android phone, and that you download the free app from your store. From there, all you have to do is pair the two and make sure that your Cozmo is charged.

Battery Life – The Cozmo Anki battery lasts for 1-2 hours of play, after which you can charge it in just 10-12 minutes and get back to having fun.

Pros

Emotions – The Cozmo Anki has over 100 programmed emotions and it’s ridiculously entertaining to see the little robot respond with joy, or a temper tantrum, when you play or do not play with it.

Ease of Use – It takes about 5 minutes to set the Cozmo up, and to connect it to WiFi.

Learning – The Cozmo Anki quickly learns your name, which it will then respond to and use. It also learns about other information, and stores this on your phone in the app.

Unlockable Features – The more you play with Cozmo, the more features you unlock. However, the Cozmo Anki was only recently released, which means that new features will be developed over time.

Fun – It’s a lot of fun to play with this robot, use the Power Cubes, and teach it to do things.

Cons

If you watch the Cosmo Anki promotional video, you will see a lot of features that this little robot just doesn’t have. This is important to keep in mind if you choose to purchase it. The robot does not wander around when not connected to a smartphone, which makes the ad slightly deceptive. We also had some issues, including connectivity problems with our pre-order version, which was quickly replaced through Amazon. As a result, yours might have the same issue, so you should order somewhere you can get a replacement easily. It also doesn’t ‘learn’ quite as easily or as quickly as the video advertises,

  • Requires the dedicated use of a mobile device, if you put the app in the background, Cozmo goes to sleep.
  • Requires attention and will not engage in casual interactions unless you initiate them
  • Edge detection requires work, Cozmo fell off of our table multiple times
  • You must constantly interact with the app to play with it

Verdict

The Cozmo Anki is ridiculously entertaining for the first few days, after which you might start to get bored with the sounds and having to interact with the app instead of the robot. Like the Sphero BB8, this toy is unfortunately one that needs a lot more work and a lot more autonomy.

While it is cute, and great if you have kids, we wouldn’t really recommend this unless the $180 price tag isn’t that big of a deal for you, because it isn’t nearly as great as the ads make it out to be.