Silicon Valley toymaker Anki, which considers itself to be an artificial intelligence and robotics company, has come out with “Cozmo”, a miniaturized bulldozer-shaped-robot. The robot is designed for persons aged eight and above and will be put up for sale in October at a price of $180. According to The Verge, pre-orders will start from today. Anki has rejected the view that “Cozmo” is expensive and justifies the $180 price tag because of the advanced software and high-quality hardware that has been included in the robot. Also Read - Xiaomi launches its Mi Robot Builder and Electric Toothbrush along with Mi A2 in SpainAlso Read - Beijing to host World Robot Conference
The company’s management has said in a statement that “Cozmo” will come with a set of sensor-embedded blocks that are used both to play games with the robot and to help it understand its position in the environment. The company further states that the robot uses facial recognition technology powered by a camera where its mouth would be to remember different people, and its software will learn and adapt to you over time the more you play with it.
Much of “Cozmo’s” heavier processing tasks are handled by a smart phone that’s been paired over Wi-Fi with Anki’s new mobile app, which frees up the robot itself from having to house more complex computer parts. The real appeal of “Cozmo”, though, comes in what Anki is calling an emotion engine, which powers a wide range of different states the robot is capable of emulating.
Drawing from academic psychology, those different states – happy, calm, brave, confident, and excited, to name a few – are derived from combinations of the big five personality traits used to describe the human psyche. By mixing and mashing these traits as if they were colors, “Cozmo” can replicate a surprisingly complex range of human-like emotions. To create these emotion states for “Cozmo”, Anki began drawing from the expertise of former Pixar animator Carlos Baena, who was hired last year to run character direction.
The company utilizes Maya, an industry-standard animation tool, to render various actions for “Cozmo”.