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Anki Cozmo Review (UK): The little robot with the massive personality

We take you on a full tour of Anki's Cozmo robot, a seriously cute robot pet who just made the journey across the pond to the UK. Cozmo can learn your face and play games with the family, and has a devious little mind of his own.

Robotic pets and playthings are becoming increasingly popular these days, and it’s not too surprising. These little mechanical critters are packed with personality and can even play games with their owners, to keep little ones amused.

Sphero is one of the pack leaders, releasing a wide variety of smart animatronic toys so far in 2017. Check out our reviews of the latest Sphere gadgets below, including a remarkably lifelike Lightning McQueen (from Pixar’s Cars movies) and some Marvel and Star Wars tie-ins.

Sphero Lightning McQueen review

Sphero Spiderman review

Sphero BB-8 review

Sphero R2D2 and BB-9E tour

One of the latest robot toys to be released in the UK is the Anki Cozmo, a lovable little chap who is particularly fond of his power blocks. Cozmo may be tiny compared with many of the Sphero offerings, yet boasts just as much personality thanks to his expressive facial display and hilarious voice. He can be left to explore on his own or you can interact with him via the nifty app, which allows you to play games, perform ‘maintenance’ and so on.

In the video below you’ll see our full unboxing, setup and tour of Cozmo’s different abilities, to get an idea of what to expect.

Setting up Cozmo is super-simple, as you’ll see in the video. Just download the app (for iOS or Android devices), charge up the little fella on his dock and then pair the two using Cozmo’s private WiFi signal. The instructions are clearly presented via the app, complete with full illustrations, so anyone can do it.

When Cozmo first boots up, he’ll scan your face using his front-facing camera to learn what you look like. Type your name into the app and he can even say it, whenever he detects you.

On his own, Cozmo will happily chug about the place and explore his surroundings, chatting to himself as he does so. If he sees someone he knows or spots one of the three power cubes he comes bundled with, he’ll react appropriately. Likewise, if you try and pick him up or knock him over, he’ll not be impressed. Thankfully that camera helps him to navigate around and also assists when it comes to table edges and other obstacles.

You can also take control at any time using that app. You have plenty of options here, from getting him to perform a trick to actually steering Cozmo about using full controls. This gives a robot’s-eye view as well, from his eye straight to your device’s screen. With a built-in night mode, you can even perform stealthy reconnaissance in the dark.

Cozmo will happily play with you too. The app comes with a handful of imaginative mini games built in, some of which can be unlocked as you spend time with the wee blighter. These are geared towards younger users of course and are fun to play, as you’ll see in the hands-on video.

We really enjoyed our time with this friendly little metal chap. You can pick up Cozmo here in the UK right now for £199, from the likes of John Lewis and Toys R Us. Definitely a strong contender for a lovable Christmas present.

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