Anki Cozmo Bot Detailed Product Review

Cozmo Bot

The first time I heard of the Anki Cozmo bot, my inner child got immensely excited. As a kid, my most prized toy was a battery-operated robot that had flashing lights and laser sounds. Most of the electronic robot toys from my youth were a lot like that.

Back then, robots that moved, talked, and learned stuff on their own were limited to science fiction movies. Not anymore. Kids these days have access to robots that they can program, that learn their names, and that interact with them.

Meet the Anki Cozmo Bot

kids playing with a cozmo bot

image via: Amazon

What makes the Anki Cozmo Bot interesting is that it has the smarts and personality to become your best friend. It learns and evolves over time. What's more, the Anki Cozmo is fun to play with.

You or your kids will probably spend hours and hours interacting with it, making it do tricks, and programming things for it to do. Plus, it also teaches you how to code.

Design

One look at the Anki Cozmo robot and it instantly reminds you of the robot in the movie "WALL-E." Two treads roll it along, and the body is hard plastic. The face of the Cozmo bot has a cube shape. You'll notice some lights on the chassis. The top lights change colors, giving you an idea of what the robot is doing. The Anki Cozmo also uses a camera located on its face to "see," while its arm looks like a digger.

Specifications and Features

Cozmo comes with three power cubes that it can interact with. Measuring 5.0 by 7.2 b 10.0 inches, this robot is small enough to bring everywhere. The Anki Cozmo bot has a wide range of facial expressions that tell you how it feels. These facial expressions change in direct response to what's happening in the robot's environment. The Cozmo bot will also explore its environment and even gets to know you.

This robot connects to a companion app that allows you to interact with it. There are also gamification elements that you might enjoy. For example, if you want to unlock upgrades and more features, then you need to interact with the robot to earn enough points to do that.

The Anki Cozmo's rechargable lithium ion battery takes around 30 minutes to charge. A full charge, however, gives you about 1.5 hours of play. The robot is also designed to be durable.

The Cozmo app

One of the first things you'll appreciate with the Cozmo app is that it has a lot of content, and they add more content periodically. Not only that, more activities and upgrades are unlocked the more time you spend with your robot. The app will also show you what Cozmo's camera is seeing, allowing you to know if the robot is seeing people or pets. You can also use this feature to move things with Cozmo's arm. But what makes the mobile app particularly impressive is that it allows you to easily program Cozmo's actions, arm movements, emotions, and voice, among other things.

Anki Cozmo, A Fun, Educational Toy Robot for Kids
  • Cozmo is a real-life robot like you've only seen in the movies and he's ready to be your loyal sidekick
  • Challenge Cozmo to games or use Explorer Mode to see things from his perspective
  • With a beginner-friendly interface, Cozmo is the perfect educational robot for kids and adults to learn to creatively...

Some of the things that you can do with the Cozmo bot

One thing that you might like about the Cozmo bot is that you will never run out of things to do. Here are some ways in which you can interact with Cozmo:

Have a pet that never dies

If you ever had a Tamagotchi virtual pet, then you would love Cozmo's Needs module. In the old Tamagotchi device, you are supposed to care for, feed, and bathe a digital pet. With Cozmo, you will need to feed your robot and give it tune-ups.

Play with Cozmo

You can teach your robot to learn faces, interact with it, and have it perform stunts.

the Cozmo bot recognize you and other people

The Cozmo bot can learn faces. All you need to do is to enter your name and let Cozmo's camera look at you. After a few seconds, Cozmo will excitedly say your name to indicate that it has already recognized and remembered you.

cardboard robots

image via: pexels.com

Expand Cozmo's vocabulary

The Cozmo bot will learn words. Like the facial recognition, the robot will repeat back what you said to show you that it has remembered what you look like. Don't worry about it repeating curse words, either — Cozmo already knows the words that it should not say, and if you prompt it to try, the robot will register embarrassment or irritation at you trying to trick it into saying bad words.

YOU DON'T WANT AN ANGRY COZMO

The Cozmo bot can also get mad. And you'll know it, because it makes an angry expression and makes noises that tell you that you have not interacted with it enough. Cozmo also hates getting pushed over.

LEARN TO PROGRAM WITH THE COZMO BOT

The Cozmo app includes a Code Lab section where you and your kids can learn how to program. The Code Lab uses a straightforward graphic interface. You can see different blocks with each one doing different things. All you need to do is to link these blocks together to code a program for your Cozmo bot.

RATINGS AND REVIEWS

Amazon

Apple.com

Cozmo is rather well loved on Amazon, getting an overall rating of 4.3 stars out of 5.0. Verified buyers called it cute, adorable, and smart. They loved how easy it was to follow the tutorials, guides, and instructions that taught you how to interact with the robot. Critical reviews, however, talked about the complicated pairing process. Others complained about how this robot breaks down quickly, despite the manufacturer's claim that the robot has been designed to last a long time, and has even undergone several tests to certify that.

Further, the Anki Cozmo garnered a perfect 5.0-star rating on Apple.com

PRICING FOR THE ANKI COZMO BOT

The Cozmo Bot is available on online retailer sites such as Apple, Walmart, and Amazon. Prices for this robot vary from $80  to $200.

HOW WE REVIEWED

To write this review, we checked the Anki Cozmo's information page, as well as its product pages on Amazon, Apple.com, and other online retail sites. Then we looked at reviews based on confirmed purchases to get a sense of customer satisfaction. We also relied on the opinions of reviewers from credible sites such as TechRadar and CNET.com.

HOW IT COMPARES TO COMPETITORS

It is a great time to be a kid who is interested in STEM these days. There are a lot of toys that introduce them to programming, robotics, and even engineering. How does the Anki Cozmo bot compare to the LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox 17101 Building and Coding Kit, the Makeblock DIY Starter Robot Kit, or the Evo App-Connected Coding Robot?

LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox 17101 Fun Robot Building Set and...
  • Who doesn't love robots? Introduce kids to the creative world of coding with the best educational STEM toys to foster...
  • Includes 847 LEGO pieces that kids can build and rebuild into 5 cool multifunctional models. The best and most popular...
  • Construct and code Vernie the Robot to dance, rock out on the Guitar4000, foster Frankie the Cat, interact with the...

If you like playing with LEGOs, but would like to be able to program your robot, then you should check out the LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox 17101 Building and Coding Kit. With 847 pieces, the kit has all the parts you need to create five projects, with easy-to-follow instructions you can find on the companion mobile app.

One thing you should remember before buying this kit is that it requires a smartphone or tablet to get the most out of the Creative Toolbox. Nevertheless, this kit is perfect for kids from seven to 12 years old. The LEGO Boost has a rating of 4.3 stars out of 5.0. Delighted customers rave about this kit's lower cost when compared to LEGO Mindstorms while remaining immensely educational. It is a fun way to introduce kids to robotics, design, and coding. However, some reviewers are not happy about the companion mobile app and how it often crashes.

You can buy this kit online from such retailers as Walmart, Amazon, and eBay.

Makeblock Starter Robot Kit, DIY 2 in 1 Advanced Mechanical Building...
  • STEM Education: Perfect choice for beginners to learn robotics, electronics and coding.
  • One Kit, Two Robots: Build a Robot Tank or a Three-Wheeled Robot Car with this kit - Mechanical Building Block. This...
  • Drag-and-Drop Graphical Programming: mBlock Software (Windows/macOS/Linux/Chrome OS) developed based on scratch 2.0...

When it comes to toys that teach kids about coding, electronics, and robotics, you will undoubtedly hear about Arduino and Scratch. Arduino is an electronics platform that has easy-to-use components. Your kids will be able to create electronics projects without needing to use a soldering gun. Meanwhile, Scratch is a programming language that makes use of a graphical interface rather than requiring you to write numerous lines of code. The programming language used by the Cozmo bot is a stripped down and simplified version of Scratch.

Why are we mentioning this? It is because Makeblock DIY Starter Robot Kit makes use of both. The LEGO Boost kit only allows you to build the robot or car, but the electronics are pretty much hidden away in the controller. Makeblock lets you build everything from the ground up.

The Makeblock DIY Starter Robot kit has enough parts to build two different robots. After assembling the robot tank or the three-wheeled car, you can then use the mBlock software that uses the Scratch programming language to direct how the robot will move.

This kit has garnered a rating of 3.5 stars out of 5.0. People raved about how much kids learn by playing with this toy, and how it was a fun way to get into programming and robotics. However, Some people complained about the basic instructions that were not easy to follow and how some components do not last very long.

Recommended for older kids at least 12 years or older, you can buy this from online retailer sites such as Amazon, RobotShop, and the manufacturer's website. 

Evo App-Connected Coding Robot (White)
  • Meet Evo - an award-winning coding robot that unleashes your inner creator (ages 9+, beginner to master coding
  • Ready to roll - Arrives assembled and ready to play with app games and two ways to code
  • App-connected - level up and unlock upgrades with EVA as you make creations and play games like ozolaunch (works with...

While both the Makeblock and LEGO kits require you to assemble everything, the Evo App-Connected Coding Robot comes fully assembled, allowing you to focus on the coding part. Evo has the Code Evo online editor where you can learn how to program your robot. Or, you can use colored markers to program this robot. The Evo robot will recognize these colors and respond accordingly.

Evo also has several other sensors such as the proximity sensor that enables it to be aware of its surroundings. For instance, this sensor allows the robot to follow your finger. Meanwhile, the optical sensors help it see colors.

This coding robot garnered a rating of 4.2 stars out of 5.0. Amazon customers praise the wealth of online resources that you can use with the Evo robot and how you do not need any device to play with it. Negative reviews on the Evo robot are most not related to the product, such as their kids have stopped playing with it. Others complained that the Evo stopped working after only a short time. 

PROS AND CONS OF THE ANKI COZMO BOT

A common problem with educational toys is that kids often get bored with them quickly. They spend an hour or less playing with the new toy and then decide that they'd rather play Fruit Ninja or Monument Valley on their iPads. You do not have to worry about that with Anki Cozmo. The Cozmo bot is fun. You can teach it to dance when it sees you smile. Perhaps, you can make it stop moving if it detects that the dog entered the room. You can also treat it as a pet.

The Anki Cozmo bot makes learning a lot of fun. Plus, there is always something new to try when new content rolls out. Not only that, you or your kids could learn how to program without even writing a line of code.

WHAT COULD BE BETTER

robot on desk with computers

image via: pexels.com

This robot is for kids as young as seven to eight years old, but younger kids might find it difficult to pair the Cozmo bot with the mobile app. There are many steps involved in the process of connecting the robot to your smartphone. For those who like building their robots, they should look elsewhere, such as the LEGO Boost or the Makeblock kits.

Programming? Coding? Robots? You may think that the Cozmo bot might be a little bit too complex for kids to play with. However, you would be surprised at how easy it really is. There is no doubt that this toy robot is high tech, but it is in no way technical. Even the programming aspect is graphical, making things a whole lot easier even for kids as young as seven years old.

The thing with the Anki Cozmo bot is that it is very engaging to play with. It makes learning how to code enjoyable, and it can encourage creativity from its users.

Even with its relatively high price, the Anki Cozmo bot is an easy toy to recommend. However, if you consider that you or your kids will probably spend a lot of time playing with it, and then subsequently learn from it, then its around $100 to $200  price tag would feel like a worthy investment.

Do you have this toy? What's your experience? Let us know!

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