Anki’s Cozmo Robot is getting its first major software upgrade just in time for the holidays. The free update, which hits on December 5, 2016, will help Cozmo talk more, recognize pets, see in the dark, and play new games as it continues to improve its interaction with users.
Anki always said Cozmo was designed to be his own character and get smarter over time. That will be evident with the new “Cozmo Says” feature that expand’s Cozmo’s vocabulary beyond its user’s name. Users can type up to 30 characters into Cozmo’s app and he’ll repeat the words you type. Don’t worry, parents, Anki says its doesn’t allow Cozmo to repeat inappropriate words.
The software upgrade will also enhance Cozmo’s Explorer Mode. You’ll be able to see what Cozmo sees using your smartphone or tablet, and you can turn on Cozmo’s night vision if he’s exploring in the dark. You can also now use Cozmo’s lifter arm to push and lift blocks laying around the environment.
Our favorite part of this update is Cozmo’s ability to detect and interact with pets. Check out the :44 mark of the video above where Cozmo encounters the family dog, barks at it, and then laughs at himself. It’s reminiscent of the prank Cozmo pulled in the following video, where it sneaks up on a sleeping dog and smacks the dog’s tail with its lifter arm. It’s a good example of the personality Anki’s trying to give Cozmo.
Cozmo will have a new favorite game after the update called Memory Match. You’ll have to follow the pattern of lights on Cozmo’s Power Cube. You and Cozmo then take turns repeating the pattern, which gets more complex as the game continues. (Think Simon Says.) The first to fail three times loses.
Finally, Cozmo can now work out with his Power Cubes. Notice the struggles it goes through while working out. Very well done. But this shouldn’t come as a surprise as Cozmo’s personality was created by someone who also worked on Wall-E.
This is the first in what sounds like many future upgrades for Cozmo. As Anki points out in the announcement, “Cozmo may be small in stature, but his brain, powered by advanced robotics, AI and computer vision, has unlimited potential.” And there’s plenty of cash to make these upgrades happen. Anki recently raised $52.5 million from J.P. Morgan and has raised $185.2 million to date from investors.
Cozmo playing Memory Match. (Credit: Anki)