Anki is launching the Cozmo robot in October and it’s set to change the way people think about artificial intelligence and programming.
The pint-sized robot will learn as he grows with you and your family, but he can be re-programmed using just an iPad and Anki’s super-simple programming interface. Every element of the robot can be changed, including how it moves, how its sensors work and computer vision.
Anyone who decides to break away from its pre-programmed operations has the option of creating something really complicated or simple, meaning it’s suited to every different type of developer, whether a school student or a professional games developer.
“When you’re in grad school and you study robotics, you have access to a lot of really amazing tech,” Tappeiner says. “But it’s really only accessible if you’re studying robotics.”
The SDK that will ship with Cozmo means others can plug their apps and innovations into the robot too. They can use the API to simplify their integrations – just adding a few lines of code will dramatically change the way Cozmo works.
At first, Anki wants researchers and educators to use Cozmo, so it will target its SDK at teachers, academic institutions and research labs but will customise it later on for third party developers.
“Unlike traditional software coding, students of robotics know how quickly you can reach a point where time and capabilities no longer progress at an even pace,” Anki said in a statement. “This unfortunately can stall the advancement of research, as more sophisticated actions require specialized expertise and access to cost-prohibitive equipment.”
In the future, Anki hopes to launch a Cozmo marketplace too, which will allow those who have bought a robot to customise their Cozmo with new skills.
Anki’s robot creation will launch in October at a cost of $179 (£140).