Anki's work on bringing artificial intelligence to unexpected products is well known with its Drive and Overdrive hybrid racing games, but this work is even more apparent in Cozmo, a lovable little virtual pet that's here to teach kids a thing or two about coding. Originally launching as a fun new robot pet, Cozmo has since expanded its functionality in many ways, including the brand new, free Code Lab expansion that was launched just back in December 2017. This expansion doesn't just add new games and activities to Cozmo's already respectable repertoire, it gives fledgling coders the ability to make their very own games and activities as well.
Following a simple visual programming language, there's very little learning curve to creating your own Cozmo activities, no matter how simple or complex. Anki provides a slew of new games and activities with the expansion, all of which can be peered into and remixed, unveiling the code so you can see exactly how Anki works its magic behind the scenes. This both helps create the basis for some pretty fantastic gaming and activity possibilities, as well as helping teach kids and adults alike the basic structure and ideas for how to create their very own robot pals. Anki packs in a number of challenges and other activities to help teach coding and general structure, and can be a great way for any beginner to learn the ropes of programming structure and syntax.
Folks that don't want to delve this deep won't feel left out either, as all of Cozmo's quirky and fun personality are here and as good as ever. Taking care of Cozmo is easy, thanks to the app for Android or iOS, with visual representations of Cozmo's wants and needs. Cozmo is vocal about his favorite activities and how he wants to spend his time with you, much of which revolves around playing fun memory and puzzle games, mainly involving the three power cubes that are included in the box. $179.99 is the MSRP for Cozmo, which will net you the robot, power cubes and charger needed to get started. Code Lab is already included in the app for free, so there's no buying expansions or additional paid content to get access to it. Interested in seeing Cozmo in action or learning more? Check out our video review below and see if Cozmo is the little pet robot you've been waiting for.