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Last weekend we were invited to Uniqlo clothing’s flagship store on Oxford Street to play with the AI robot Cozmo for the launch of their new Cozmo clothing range. Cozmo and Uniqlo teamed up with Instagrammer and photographer, Hannah Argyle to create and design a unique, limited edition, Uniqlo Cozmo t-shirt. Toby is robot obsessed so we were happy for the chance to go and play with Cozmo and see what all the hype is about.
When we arrived, two lovely presenters were on hand to help the visiting children play with Cozmo. The robot runs from an app downloaded on a smart device such as a phone or tablet and certainly had the cute factor, looking and talking like something from a Pixar film. From the time we spent playing with him we could see how much the boys enjoyed simple games with him, selected via the app, and that Cozmo looked robust and well built.
In the busy shop environment he seemed to struggle with some tasks, but reading up
on him it seems that the longer you spend playing with him, the more he learns, including facial and voice recognition. He also has been developed to be programmable by kids using a software development kit (SDK) with a Python-based language – the developers recommend the free, open source Pycharm Community edition. This enables users to program their own ideas, or to download and run programs produced by a community of users.
This ability to program him gives Cozmo a potential to be a toy that will continue to be played with for several years. Kids over
three can interact with him (with adult help and supervision) using the games in the app, older children and teens can explore his more advanced features via the SDK.
Described as ‘a supercomputer on treads’ Cozmo is expensive, but around the same as other tech toys available, such as the remote control AT-AT Ollie was thrilled to receive from his grandparents for his birthday this year. Cozmo doesn’t work at all without a smart device being turned on and used to run him, so not something to give to younger children and expect them to be able to just play unsupported with him. I would think that he would be a good gift for kids who are 8 and up, with access to a smart device they know how to use whenever they want to play with Cozmo.
Toby was certainly impressed, and has added Cozmo to the list of robots he ‘must have’ for his blossoming collection, and as you can see from Ollie’s face he had a whale of a time with the cute little bot.
Notes: The above is an honest review based on a play with Cozmo, opinions and images are my own, in return for rail fare to the event and a free t-shirt for the kids (in total worth £25). The kids loved Cozmo, and I was impressed by the Uniqlo store in general, including the surprisingly low prices, the cool Cozmo t-shirts being only £2.50 each.