In a technology-fueled world learning to code has quickly become a cherished skill, empowering kids to become creators of the technology that they use and enjoy. However, the current tools that are meant to inspire robotics programming offer a lackluster and disjointed experience, often lacking access to high-level functionalities that can help transform an aspiring child into a full-fledged programmer.
Anki, the consumer robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) company, today announced Cozmo Code Lab. It's a simple and intuitive visual programming language that allows Cozmo owners to easily tap into his advanced robotics technology to program the physical robot. Dragging and dropping blocks into a sequence in Code Lab will trigger related actions from Cozmo in the physical world. Code Lab is available now to all Cozmo owners as a free software update to the Cozmo app.
"Everything we do at Anki is in an effort to advance the state of robotics, whether that is kids learning coding for the first time, or Ph.D. students solving complex computer vision challenges in a lab with Cozmo," said Boris Sofman, CEO and co-founder at Anki. "With the launch of Code Lab, Cozmo now helps kids develop the logic and reasoning skills that programming requires. Based on the Scratch Blocks project, a collaboration between MIT Media Lab and Google, we now have a powerful tool that gives anyone interested in learning to code a robot the opportunity to unleash their creativity. There's simply no consumer robotics platform available like Cozmo."
Delightfully Intuitive. Easy to Execute.
Cozmo Code Lab provides opportunities for thoughtful and logic-based play as kids are challenged to approach programming much like a real programmer. Writing sophisticated programs requires a programmer to define a set of rules to solve an issue. Code Lab challenges kids to find a solution to prescribed prompts by moving the blocks into an appropriate sequence. It also allows them to experiment with Cozmo to create whatever content they can imagine. Each block represents a specific action, movement, or animation including:
- Movement: Make Cozmo drive, from simple forward/backward/turns to intelligent motions like avoiding obstacles
- Actions: Control his body, from moving his lift and head, to changing lights or having him say short phrases
- Animations: Access dozens of the animations that make Cozmo's personality, created by a team of film and gaming animators
- Events: Trigger highly intelligent actions like having Cozmo react to a face, a smile, or a frown, or use his cubes to trigger a reaction
Code Lab for Cozmo is based on Scratch Blocks, a project of the MIT Media Lab, used by millions of people around the world. With Code Lab, Cozmo owners can start out with very simple programs, but then move into extremely sophisticated coding projects like creating entirely new games for the robot.