Anki Cozmo robot toy

First Look: Anki Cozmo

Cozmo might be different to the usual festive season toy fad. He (yes, he) is cute and has personality, thanks to his AI. He’s a bit R2D2 and, for the past few weeks, someone in our family has played with him each day.

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Cozmo connects through an Android or iOS app and learns and interacts with you in various ways: he recognises faces and greets you personally, scoots around the house on his tank tracks, and plays interactive games using 3 “power cubes”. And, like a Tamagotchi, which predate my tween-age kids by a decade, he needs feeding.

The more you interact with him, the more you get out of him – my wife has unlocked features I haven’t. You can also use your device to see through Cozmo’s “eyes” and control him directly.

But it’s not just fun and games. My kids use Cozmo in their after-school CodeCamp. Peter Duncan, who runs the group, reckons combining visual “building-block” coding with a physical robot is great for getting younger kids interested without them thinking they are learning stuff.

It’s early days for our little robot buddy, but with the variety of ways to interact with Cozmo and the appeal to young and old, I’m going to say he’ll last well beyond the festive season.

Price: $359

First Looks are trials of new and interesting products from the perspective of our product experts. Our lab-based tests offer truly objective product comparisons.

This Anki Cozmo was loaned to the writer by Anki.

By Paul Smith
Head of Testing