Our aim is to bring Artificial Intelligence out of labs and into people’s everyday lives. This blog is where we’ll share the stories, challenges and achievements that make this ambition such an interesting ride.

Lauren Wheeler

Producer, Anki

Celebrate Summer with New Fan-Created Content from the Cozmo Code Lab Contest

Posted by Lauren Wheeler, Producer, Anki | June 20th, 2018

When we launched the Code Lab Contest with its “Summer Fun” theme earlier this year, the team here at Anki expected we’d see some fun projects for Cozmo. But we simply weren’t prepared for the unbelievable creativity on display from Cozmo’s fans. We received a number of fantastic submissions, but in the end, we had to pick one winner.

Congratulations to “Fardenco” (Matthieu Dewavrin), a Cozmo fan and robotics enthusiast from France. His game, called “Tidal Tap,” matches Cozmo’s fun-loving personality with gameplay that requires quick thinking and fast reflexes. We’ve had a blast playing it and can’t wait for you to try it out yourselves -- “Tidal Tap” will be available in the Cozmo app on June 27. Ahead of its release, we talked to Fardenco about his background and the inspiration for his winning project.

Tell us a little about yourself - who are you and what do you do?
Hi, I am an inventor from France, I'm 24, and I enjoy turning my ideas into real things. I'm passionate about electronics, robotics, and programming.

I'm a teacher and I also work on a YouTube channel with a friend called "Leo - Techmaker." It’s about technology and DIY building projects.

I am also a member of Caliban, an association for people who are passionate about robotics. We show many of our projects at events like Maker Faire.

Tell us about your contest project, “Tidal Tap.” Where did you come up with the idea, and how did you create the project?
When I heard about the Code Lab contest, I had already tinkered a bit with Code Lab, but I had never made a real project using it. The contest made me wonder about what game could be fun to play with Cozmo.

My idea for the core of the game came quite quickly: having a Cube chosen randomly and having to tap on the right one quickly. So I started to build the project in Code Lab. When I had it working, I thought it was fun to play, but I was not really happy with it. It was missing an essential part: something to differentiate just playing with some Cubes and playing with our buddy Cozmo.

I had the idea of using the tides as the main element of the context by thinking about playing with Cozmo on a beach. I then added this to the project, and this is what made me happy about the result.

Seeing Cozmo moving back at each tap, seeing the waves going up with each error... It was exciting! =)

How did you first discover Cozmo?
A friend who is member of the same robotic association as me introduced me to Cozmo. We were at a Maker Faire, and he brought Cozmo to show how easily you can program a robot to the visitors. I had never seen Cozmo before, and I did find that it was a very interesting way to introduce people to programming.

What did you think of Code Lab as you started programming for Cozmo?
I really enjoyed the fact that Code Lab is very comprehensive. In my everyday life, I'm used to programming using languages like C++, C#, or Java, and I did use graphical programming tools in the past, but I always felt that there was something missing with them, preventing me from doing what I had in mind. This might be the reason why I did not try to build a real project with Cozmo before the contest.

But when I started to build it, I was really pleased to find that I was not missing anything. Code Lab provided me with all the tools I needed to take the ideas out of my mind and translate them into blocks of code. This is really something I enjoyed.

What advice would you give to Cozmo fans starting out with programming in Code Lab?
I think that it's easy to be intimidated when you have a big project in mind. But I really think that nobody should think that they could never do it themselves.

My advice would be start with small, simple things. Then, by adding a little something here and there, and doing this again and again, you will end up with something you would never have thought you could do by yourself.

“Tidal Tap” will be available in the Cozmo app on June 27, 2018. You can even remix the project in Code Lab and make your own version. Make sure to update your Cozmo app to the newest version, available now.

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