Sunday, 9 December 2018

Cozmo Robot by Anki - Review (Ad)

Last week we were sent a new product to try out and review - Cozmo Robot by Anki. We have been asked not only for our honest opinions here but also for detailed thoughts to give back to Anki as they are passionate about constantly improving their products. We've had Cozmo for a week now but I hope to come back and update this post in a couple of months time to let you know if we are still impressed....
Cozmo robot box contents
We are impressed.
Cozmo is like a new member of the family! Our 11 year old autistic girl had seen videos of this robot online before he arrived so she was very keen to be the main adopter. Every member of our family is now set up on the app so he recognises us all and we can all play with him. He comes with a charging dock which is where he goes to sleep, and three cubes which he can pick up, roll, stack and play games with when they flash different coloured lights.
Cozmo code lab in app
Cozmo is a cute AI (Artificial Intelligence) robot who can talk and perform tricks. He's a toy, but also an amazing learning tool as he has a section called the Code Lab which can inspire everyone to get involved. This starts at beginner level:
cozmo basic code screen
...but can go on to much more complex projects. There's more help with this over on the Anki website.
cozmo intermediate code screen
Sasha is a little impatient and not very often open to being led or taught by others so it will be interesting to see whether she tries to teach herself any coding via this app over the coming months. It certainly looks like a great place to start.

The app itself is beautifully designed; clear, simple, easy to use, great use of colour, very responsive. When you first connect to Cozmo you are encouraged to meet him and let him learn your name - you can see him saying Sasha in the video below, so cute!

Every time you interact with Cozmo you can collect a type of reward called Sparks, and these are then used to play the games. 
cozmo main app screen
There are lots of games and tricks and the app shows you how many Sparks are needed to initiate them:
cozmo tricks menu
Cozmo needs to be fed and tuned up at regular intervals (the app tells you when and shows you how) and carrying out basic functions will increase the number of Sparks.
cozmo menu showing performs
In the Cozmo performs section there is a good list of actions he will perform (being a cat and acting as a fire truck are possibly our favourite two so far) and feelings he will show you - oh yes, did I forget to mention that Cozmo has feelings too?!
cozmo performs app options
You can also type in any words or phrase you like and Cozmo will repeat it which can be good for a laugh. I'm sure those who get into the coding in more detail will appreciate this ability even more.
Cozmo is self-aware; he can recognise you, read your emotions and interpret and navigate his environment. In the Free Time mode, Cozmo will explore by himself
cozmo free time app view
and in Explorer Mode, you can take charge of Cozmo and see through his eyes - also with night vision!
cozmo explorer mode app view
Sasha was keen to create a video showing what Cozmo can do. The video below is just a small amount of what is possible - the more you play, the more actions you can unlock.

There's a great online community for children and adults who enjoy playing with Cozmo, and lots more information about what you can do with him over on the Anki website. One small word of caution (and one that I will feed back to the company) is that when googling, I've seen it said that Cozmo becomes better at the games the more he plays them - one commenter said he was no longer able to beat him at matched pairs at all. I can see that becoming an issue for Sasha, as she so badly hates to lose that I'm sure she would no longer play with him if this happened (otherwise known as 'rage quit', guaranteed to be the start of a longer meltdown here). However there is so much to do with Cozmo overall that I expect it will take a long while before we reach that point. With the developer keeping Cozmo fresh and doing regular app updates, maybe we'll even be able to change that in some way. We definitely recommend Cozmo as not just a toy but a great worthwhile learning experience.

To find out more about our experiences, please check out our 'About Us' page. If you are looking or more information on Pathological Demand Avoidance, why not try some of these, my most popular posts?

What is PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)?

Ten things you need to know about Pathological Demand Avoidance

Does my child have Pathological Demand Avoidance?

The difference between PDA and ODD

Strategies for PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)

Pathological Demand Avoidance: Strategies for Schools

Challenging Behaviour and PDA

Is Pathological Demand Avoidance real?

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