Cozmo: This Cute Robot Uses AI to Develop Its Own Personality

June 28, 2016 | Kelly Tatera

Cozmo robot by Anki
Photo credit: Anki, Inc

The design team says the robot can process more data per second than all the Mars Rovers combined. 

Meet Cozmo — a little robot created by a team of robotics engineers at Anki, but not just any robot.

Most robots tend to lack a real sense of personality, with repeated movements and scripted responses. Cozmo, however, uses a combination of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and computer vision to develop his own personality — “a gifted little guy with a mind of his own,” the creators write on their website.

In fact, Anki claims that Cozmo possesses the kind of personality we tend to see in the lovable robots in movies. Plus, his personality evolves with the more time someone spends with him.

“We’ve had this promise in science fiction of all the robots that could exist,” Anki CEO and co-founder Boris Sofman said in a video introducing Cozmo.

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“There’s been very few application where a robot has really felt like a character that connects with humans around it. For that, you really need artificial intelligence and robotics. That’s been the missing key.”

Despite Cozmo’s small size, he contains over 300 individual pieces inside, which the design team claims makes Cozmo capable of processing more data per second than all the Mars Rovers combined.

Cozmo boasts a number of different features, including the ability to play games with people via a companion smartphone app. Further, Cozmo will learn to recognize a user’s face and remember which games he or she enjoys playing most. Spending more time with Cozmo will also unlock more games and actions.

In order to make interactions with Cozmo as organic as possible, a team of animators designed the bot with features like eyes that flash when Cozmo sees someone he knows. His eyes and head will follow you as you move around, and the researchers hope these little touches will make humans more likely to connect with Cozmo.

“So call him self-aware, call him almost human,” the creators write. “Just don’t call him a toy. He's a supercomputer on treads.

Cozmo will sell at a retail price of $179.99, but he’s currently available for a pre-order price of $159.99.

A behind-the-scenes video of Cozmo can be seen below.


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