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Could Anki's new Cozmo robot toy be the next Furby?

By Shawn Knight
Jun 27, 2016
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  1. Anki has been wowing crowds at Apple events with its intelligent Drive and Overdrive race car toys since 2013. For the San Francisco-based AI startup’s second act, they’re turning to a more traditional robot toy that’s unlike anything you’ve seen before.

    Cozmo is a small, unassuming forklift-looking toy that comes to life when paired with an Android or iOS device. Armed with an OLED display for a face and a small camera for vision, Cozmo can interact with those in the room and even play games with you.

    That is, when he is awake. While asleep (charging), the robot emanates a subtle snoring sound.

    Boris Sofman, Anki founder and CEO, described Cozmo to Polygon as a physical character in which they wanted to bring a level of personality and emotional depth and behavioral intelligence to that just has never been possible outside of the screen. The inspiration for its personality, he added, came from toddlers and pets with the sort of curiosity you’d expect from a kitten.

    Whether in free-form play or in a game with defined rules, Cozmo becomes more intelligent over time. The mini robot works on a skill tree, if you will, as the more you play with him, the more new games and characteristics you can unlock. How users interact with him will determine which skills are unlocked, an interesting twist.

    Anki is now accepting pre-orders for Cozmo priced at $179.99 which includes the robot, its charging dock and three interactive block toys. Look for it to launch this October.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 2,788   +1,533

    Well, it looks pretty neat and could be a lot of fun, but at such a small size I am wondering how long the interest will really last. Now if they made him bigger, say big enough to go pick up your phone that dropped on the floor, or roll up to the bed and make a lot of racket to wake you up; interact with the dog or cat, or that sort of thing, then I would be REALLY interested, but for now, he looks like just a toy with very little use. Let's hope the next generation yields a bit more ......
  3. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,513   +900

    I feel like their first meeting about this was, what if Wall-E and Eva had a baby?

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