Ex-Pixar animators helped create this insanely smart toy robot

Anki Cozmo bats his eyes – two pixelated blobs on the surface of a LED screen, no bigger than a watch face – as he awakens in his charging station. He lets out a yawn that sounds like it came from an auto-tuned WALL-E, and rolls away to explore the world around him. “Now let’s see what he does,” says Hanns Tappeiner, one-third of the founding team of Anki, while we sit in the robotics company’s San Francisco headquarters. He watches with a smile. Cozmo is a new consumer-grade robot, intended for children age seven and up as well as kids at heart, that combines animation and artificial intelligence to generate the personality of something you’d see on the big screen. Game developers, AI gurus, and former Pixar animators worked…


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