Anki has unveiled its latest foray into the world of robotics by introducing us to its upcoming AI-powered robot companion, Cozmo.
This trusty little machine packs a whole bunch of features into its tiny frame, which at first glance, seems to be just another one of those cute geeky toys. Do not be fooled by its appearance, though, because Cozmo was manufactured to utilize the latest innovations in machine learning to accomplish a myriad of tasks: motor functions, dynamic personalities and even facial recognition, among others.
On top of all that, the company has announced that consumers can get to program additional functions to its standard preset as well, making the robot just about capable of doing anything its creator dictates. Cozmo can be programmed to do user-specified tasks like dimming the lights to set the mood for a romantic evening or automatically launch Netflix when it notices people are gathering in the living room. The possibilities are endless! (Well, maybe not world domination... yet.)
Of course, programming isn't exactly the easiest of tasks to undertake — people do take years to study and understand the field — but Anki promises to deliver a more coding-friendly approach to this system once the product launches this October. A handy software development kit (SDK) will ship alongside Cozmo, featuring prebuilt user-programmable code functions that carry four years of love and dedication from the team — thousands of coding, to be exact.
Basically, users do not have to build the codes from the ground up to make Cozmo do something as simple as moving in a straight line to something more complex like recognizing a familiar face.
Once its handy app on iOS and Android devices are plugged into a computer, users may simply call a dedicated function for these tasks and Cozmo will do the rest. To name a few are NumFaces, a preset that enables Cozmo to automatically register faces in its field of view; LookAround, a preset that makes the robot move around curiously and identify objects; and RollBlock, a preset where Cozmo will knock down its included blocks on command.
Anki notes that the SDK will undergo three phases before it becomes fully functional, with the goal of contributing to an academic environment. The first phase will roll out the SDK for seasoned programmers, the second phase will wrap the functions in ready-to-use graphical interfaces and lastly, the third phase will pave the way for self-produced third-party apps integrated with the device.
Cozmo's future looks promising and Anki is ushering in a new era of robotics by bringing it to the masses, previously limited to high-tech labs and the like.
Interested buyers can preorder Cozmo now for a discounted price of $160 ($180 at launch) through the appropriate channels while deliveries, as mentioned above, will start in October.
Cozmo's introductory trailer may be viewed below: