Anki has announced that its robotic sidekick, Cozmo, will be launching in Canada this July, followed by a broader rollout in the U.K., France, Germany, and Nordic countries later this year. Best known for its Anki Drive that took the stage at WWDC 2013 four years ago, Anki is a robotics and AI company that aims to bring cutting-edge technology to consumer experiences. Released in the U.S. last fall, Aniki’s newest product, Cozmo, is a sophisticated consumer robot that was built by a world-class team of roboticists, animators, and game developers to create an interactive experience powered by advanced AI. Cozmo not only responds to interactive commands, but uses learning algorithms to adapt its behaviour to its experiences and interactions with its owner, exhibiting an endearing personality in the process through complex facial expressions displayed on its OLED face, as well as face detection algorithms that allow Cozmo to recognize people and pets and respond to them in different ways.
Cozmo runs in tandem with a companion iOS app that provides gameplay content as well as the ability to unlock new abilities and upgrades, and three included Power Cubes provide an additional level of interaction. Anki makes free software updates available in the app to also further expand Cozmo’s features, and an SDK allows users to create their own scripted routines and solutions with Cozmo, taking advantage of advanced robotics and AI APIs without having to deal with complicated low-level programming languages. Cozmo will be available in Canada exclusively from Best Buy Canada, with pre-orders starting in June, and the product expected to ship and hit store shelves in July. Anki will also be commemorating the global rollout of Cozmo with a Cozmo Collector’s Edition in a liquid metal finish, expected to be available in September.