He looks at you with his big eyes, pronounces your name, but can also get angry and make big eyes. This is Cozmo. And no, it’s not a miniature animal but a mini-robot that we owe to the Californian company Anki. We would believe it straight out of an animated film as it seems endowed with human emotions. It took four years of research, experimentation, testing and failure for his creators to lead to its creation. At Anki, the desire has always been to find ways to apply robotics to consumer products. And for that, it had to bring in artificial intelligence.To “make alive”, Anki has endowed his robot with elements that seemed to him inescapable: facial and sensitive recognition to judge movements to make and recognize its environment; an artificial intelligence to understand and act; an interactive content developed from a real animation studio. To complete the whole thing, it is endowed with animated eyes.
At each new meeting, his camera allows him to scan a face to which you associate a name. He will then be able to recognize you later and be happy to see you … or not, according to the memory you will have left him. It can also detect a human from an animal (it mimics the sound of a cat or a dog if it recognizes it). His big eyes on his screen are so extremely expressive as for a human and eye contact extremely important.
The good news is that getting started takes only 5 minutes. Of course it must be loaded, but the settings via the application to download for free are all that simple. It works on iOS, Android or Kindle devices.
Via the application, we have access to various commands. Two games are included in which we challenge Cozmo with his interactive cubes. At first, it is very easy to win, but the more you play, the more it learns. And it seems that he is learning faster than the average human. In other words, he is likely to gain the upper hand quickly.
There is also an explorer mode. This is to direct it remotely (via the WiFi that serves for all orders). We can see the world from its height and through its eyes.
This innovative creature has people thinking in its pros and cons.
The most valuable aspects of Cozmo are:
– it recognizes its owner
– can be programed
– is always learning
The main defects are that it does not roll on carpets and works only with the application turned on.
As for today, Cozmo prices’ vary between USD 179.99 and USD 249.99 and may be purchased with additional gadgets (e.g. case).