Anki’s limited edition dark Cozmo seems like a metaphor for growing up

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Last fall, Anki — a company mostly known for its connected toy cars — released Cozmo, an AI-powered toy robot that has the personality of WALL-E built inside. The $180 robot was meant to be a new kind of toy that lets kids and developers experiment with what they can build from a toy’s SDK, using machine learning and facial recognition to interact with Cozmo as if it’s is a real pet.

Today, Anki announced that it’s expanding Cozmo to international markets, including Canada, UK, France, Germany, and Nordic countries. Alongside that announcement, there’s also a new limited edition Cozmo that masks the jolly robot in a dark, liquid metal covering.

On any other gadget, I would appreciate the sleek, metal look. On Cozmo, it looks… wrong.


In my brief hands-on with Cozmo, I recalled the robot being very curious, childlike, and innocent. Cute is a word often thrown around. There was an adorable mischief about Cozmo that you just smile about, even when it frowns and knocks over a tower of blocks. Dark Cozmo now looks mildly menacing. It reminds me of what happens when you grow up, become annoyed more easily, get grumpier, and, eventually, learn to embrace the darkness of adulthood where not all is fun and games anymore.

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Anyway. If you dig it, you can preorder Dark Liquid Metal Cozmo for $180. It’s expected to ship in September.

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