Learning Coding with Cozmo
Teaching my 6 year old programming with Cozmo's help
Anki envisioned Cozmo to be a robot that kids could engage, play, and learn with. When I first laid my hands on Cozmo in 2017, I enjoyed the games that one could play with it using the 3 cubes. But the games were limited, and soon got boring. A year later, Anki enhanced the Cozmo app to deliver the Code Lab experience. To me, the Code Lab seemed to open up Cozmo to a large avenue of possibilities and use cases.
The Code Lab Constructor
The Code Lab constructor allows one to program Cozmo with the Scratch programming interface. For those unfamiliar with Scratch, it is a great way to introduce programming skills to kids by making them use blocks to design code instead of writing text based programs. With the Cozmo Scratch interface in the Code Lab constructor, you can pretty much program all the abilities that Cozmo has with the Code Lab such as moving a cube, singing tunes, or playing Blackjack. You can also intermix these actions with traditional programming syntaxes of for loops, or if them else statements. The interface is relatively bug free, functions well even today, and has been used by many teachers to impart valuable coding lessons.
My son has been learning programming with the help of Cozmo and the Code Lab constructor since he was 5 years old. He gradually learned different tricks of how to drive Cozmo around the house, move the cube from one place to another, and create simple games. He is now 6 1/2, and is able to create complex programs by himself. Here is a video of him trying to draw a triangle on Cozmo’s face by moving the cube around in front of him in a triangular motion. You can see how excited he is to be able to control Cozmo. Seeing him grow in confidence in programming Cozmo has convinced me of the large untapped potential that Cozmo has in the EdTech market.
If you want to try this program, or other Cozmo Code Lab programs, I have many open-source in my Git. The following video gives a short tutorial on how to draw shapes on Cozmo’s face.
Other avenues to learn with Cozmo
The Codelab Constructor Scratch interface is mainly for beginners. The Cozmo SDK offers a way to program Cozmo with a python programmer. Many teachers have used the Cosmo SDK to teach programming. Calypso is an advanced way of learning various STEM concepts. Calypso also offers a detailed curriculum to help you learn many advanced engineering and Artificial Intelligence concepts.
If you are a teacher or a parent responsible for teaching kids, you might want to seriously consider using Cozmo as an education gadget. Kids seem to love it, and they will learn valuable programming skills on the way.