A few weeks back I shared that Anki was releasing a major update to the Cozmo robot app alongside a new Liquid Black Collectors Edition Cozmo. Well, I have spent some time since then getting familiar with the update and Cozmo CE. Read on below for more!
I enjoyed working and playing with Cozmo when the original version first arrived earlier in the year. However, one issue I had was that some of the functionality when teaching Cozmo new abilities was that it seemed somewhat tedious. Considering that most of what Cozmo is about is geared towards kids. Having to put too much effort into playing with him would be likely to lead to a lack of interest in playing with Cozmo once the novelty wore off. With the new update, Anki has done an excellent job of fixing that issue.
Cozmo now has three basic functions or requirements for use;
- Tune Up
Tuning up Cozmo is very simple to do. Tapping the Tune-up button from the app will launch a scan of Cozmo's major parts, his head, his tracks and lift. Now to be clear, the parts scanned do not require any actual tuning up. It is really more of a way to think of Cozmo like a pet that needs care and attention physically to stay healthy.
When the scan is complete it will identify which area needs attention. Depending on how longCozmo has sat since his last use or how long you have been playing will affect which parts need to be tuned. As you saw above, only Cozmo's lift needed some work. Tapping the small red exclamation mark will allow you to calibrate the part. This is done by tapping the arrows in the order directed by the app. Once you have completed the correct order, Cozmo will follow suit and repeat the sequence. That's it! Cozmo is now tuned up and ready to go.
Feeding is done via the power cubes Cozmo uses to perform tricks and play games. Tapping the Feed button will launch the tutorial for feeding. Pick up a power cube and shake it vigorously to charge it. When charged you drop it in from of Cozmo and he will place his lift on top to absorb the energy stored in the cube. If he gets too hungry he will mope around the table. Again, thinking of Cozmo more like a pet shows kids that the key to learning and having energy comes from taking care of yourself through
Keeping with tradition, Cozmo's very emotive face goes wild as he sucks up the cube-goodies. Once you have filled his belly you can move onto to play some games.
Playtime is required to keep Cozmo happy, engaged and wanting to learn new things while he explores. If you do not play with him he will bug you for a while to play a game, or since a song, but after a while, he will begin to disengage with you, so a healthy amount of play is essential.
Like with Tuning and Feeding, tapping the Play button will launch Cozmo's play mode. Using the sparks, you accumulate from playing with Cozmo over time you can "spark" him to perform a random trick that he has learned or to prompt you to play a game of his choosing. You also have the option to pick for Cozmo from the green "Tricks and Games" section to the far right of the play screen. Once you charge Cozmo's play meter to push emotions to the max level, you are rewarded with more sparks allowing you to continue working with Cozmo.
Cozmo Collectors Edition
When Anki first released Cozmo in 2016, they spoke about his durability and quality design. With the original Cozmo, I was amazed by the build quality and attention to detail put into his design. The Collectors Editon of Cozmo is much of the same but with a way cooler paint job.
Overall functionality, from what I can tell, is identical to the original Cozmo and that is perfectly fine. The experience out of the box was moderately different, but any differences were a result of the app update and not the setup and operation of Cozmo himself.
The most significant let down for me with the Collectors Edition was the lack of interaction with my other Cozmo robot. The two have met face to face a few times and have ignored each other for the most part. In one case Cozmo did see his liquid metal sibling and started making his robot noises showing that something had caught his eye. However, the terminal output that tells you what Cozmo is up to reported that he had seen a "pet."
Over time, I hope to see Anki add increased functionality for Cozmo to interact with other Cozmo's as well as some recognition of other Anki products like Overdrive. Now I understand that most people will not have multiple Cozmo's and Overdrive, but for the enthusiast that do, seeing some more cross-fucntionality would be very welcomed.