Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - US toy start-up Anki has had great success with its artificially intelligent, app-controlled driving games over the last couple of years, but it is finally ready to expand its line-up with a departure from its Drive and Overdrive racing systems.

Cozmo is a small, smart robot that utilises the manufacturer's expertise in AI, but offers something very different to Anki's other products.

It still have wheels - well, tracks anyway - so drives around rather than walks. It looks like a cross between a tiny truck and a factory conveyor belt, and was part crafted by the lead designer of the Batmobile.

But it's not what's on the outside that's important. Its brain is the main draw, with more processing power than all of the Mars Rovers combined, so says Anki.

10 best Lego sets 2021: Our favourite Star Wars, Technic, City, Frozen II sets and more

It has an "emotion engine" so evolves and learns about you over time. It then responds to you in ways it thinks are most appropriate. There are complex facial expressions and the mini robot has its own voice and language.

It will also recognise other people in your family, and will brighten when it sees a familiar face.

READ: Anki Overdrive review: App-controlled car racing fun for all the family

There are several games that can be played with Cozmo and he'll soon let you know when he is bored, by nudging your arm to encourage you to play.

More abilities and features will emerge over time, but Cozmo will be exclusive to the US at first, priced at $180 (£136). It will be available from October and requires an iOS or Android connection to work. Pre-orders are available now from anki.com/en-us/cozmo with $20 off.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 27 June 2016.