Cozmo goes to class! Digital Dream Labs’ little robots teach coding, creativity in schools nationwide
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA—April 28, 2022: He’s curious, crafty, and determined when he finds a problem -- and doesn’t ask to go to the bathroom every five minutes.
It’s no wonder why teachers are falling in love Digital Dream Labs’ Cozmo, the little educational toy robot with the big, expressive electronic eyes. Cozmo is quickly becoming a vital teaching tool in classrooms nationwide, teaching students about coding and other essential tech skills.
“After a discussion about A.I., Cozmo was the perfect tool to demonstrate facial recognition technology,” says K-8 STREAM teacher Zee Poerio at St. Louise de Marillac Catholic School in Pittsburgh. “That was the first thing students wanted to do with Cozmo. They wanted to have their faces scanned and names entered into the program and then ask Cozmo, ‘Who am I?’ They laughed and cheered when the robot was able to recognize their faces and say their name aloud. After that, students jumped right into tackling the challenges, playing some of the built-in games, and coding some of their own.”
Cozmo represents some of the most powerful artificial intelligence ever assembled into a consumer robot. It looks like a toy, but it’s much more than that.
“In the minds of many students, STEM seems boring and hard,” says Max Dennison, the Digital Inclusion Specialist for the City of Pittsburgh. “Many students associate STEM with difficulty and obscurity. The robots are making STEM/tech accessible and cool, and fun. This helps us as educators because it's much easier if the students have a
It’s not easy to create engaging and challenging lessons, but Cozmo can help with both. Digital Dream Labs has developed a coding workbook and the CozmoNAUT classroom curriculum in a partnership with the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh.
“Students programmed Cozmo to report the weather for our morning announcements and make commercials for our school activities,” says Poerio. “When younger students saw Cozmo in person after hearing the robot on the morning announcements, they were surprised to see how small the robot was. Cozmo has even had the honor of starting the chain reaction in many of our domino builds at school. Students had to use problem-solving skills to figure out the path to follow, the distance needed, and the angle of his arms to knock over the first domino to topple all the others.”
Teachers are also finding ways for Cozmo to help kids with special needs.
“We use them to teach coding but also as a tool for special education,” says Jenny Petersen, Chair of Special Education for James Madison Middle School in the Los Angeles Unified School District. “I teach students with general, special needs, intellectual disabilities, and autism. The students enjoy the back-and-forth interactions with the Cozmo, and it helps them navigate feelings and emotions and provide a learning partner that has real-time social response to their actions.”
“Students with special needs, especially autism, struggle with social interactions. Cozmo has provided a social partner to help them navigate emotions, practice turn-taking, and help them learn physical computing skills. Most coding platforms are just on the computer. With Cozmo, they have a physical robot that demonstrates their coding sequence in a way they can see and interact with. It’s a great tool!”
“As a company, we’ve always been passionate about creating products that ignite a curiosity in STEM education,” said Jacob Hanchar, Digital Dream Labs co-founder and CEO. He added that the company offers discounts for educators and is currently taking purchase orders for the 2022/23 academic year.
About Digital Dream Labs
With 3+ million customers, Digital Dream Labs (DDL) is an award-winning entertainment company that develops engaging learning solutions and consumer robots for people of all ages -- transforming the way science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) topics are taught, pre-K to adult -- around the world. Makers of Cozmo, Vector, InfiniDrive, and Puzzlets, DDL is on a mission to produce Robots that make life easier and better regardless of who you are or where you are at in life. For more information, visit digitaldreamlabs.com.
Released April 28, 2022