If you are one of the many parents who has ever felt guilty for parking a child in front of a screen—TV, computer, tablet or smartphone—to be entertained, meet Codi, ready and able to be your child’s best, and most fun, robot friend, sans screen. And without ever seeing an advertisement.
Codi is adorable: 8.5 inches tall with big eyes, antennae that light up and ears that change colors. It is also very smart and flexible, delivering age-appropriate and individualized content. Sometimes it’s a DJ with a 200+ catalog of songs: classics, originals and lullabies. Sometimes it’s a storyteller with a repertoire of 130+ classic stories performed by professional voice actors. Sometimes it is a loving and kindly “taskmaster” reminding a child that it’s time to brush her teeth or clean his room. (Codi is genderless; ask its gender and it will remind you that it is a robot!)
Codi is safe and durable, made with high-quality, stain-resistant ABS plastic and soft, food-grade silicone for children who are teething. It adheres to the strictest standards for children’s products.
For children from 12 months to 7 years old, Codi can act as a nightlight with calming music or play songs that will help children develop motor skills and meet specific milestones, such as starting school and meeting new friends. Codi is so smart that it has stories and tips that help children work through various emotions.
Codi comes with a blue plush outfit, making it cuddly for bedtime or a car ride and protecting it from a drop on the floor. Extra outfits include a monkey, dinosaur and unicorn, with more on the way.
Dayu Yang, Chris Oslebo and William Mock founded Pillar Learning, an educational tech startup whose flagship product is Codi.
- Dayu, CEO and Head of Software, has degrees from Peking University, Stanford University (economics) and University of Pennsylvania (MBA). He was a mobile apps manager for products that reached millions of users and worked in custom product development, sourcing, logistics and operations.
- Chris, Head of Product Development, graduated from Stanford University. He was product manager at a major toy company and developed, launched and manufactured over 3,000 toys.
- William, Head of Content Development and Education, has degrees from University of California, Berkeley (Asian studies), Peking University (Chinese language) and Stanford University (MA, International and Comparative Education). He is a former kindergarten teacher, academic consultant and Chief Academic Officer at American International College in China.
The team founded Pillar Learning to use innovative technology, educational research and their diverse talents and experience to provide the best developmental opportunities for children between the ages of 12 months and 7 years outside of the classroom. Their mission is to build products that help unlock every child’s potential. To that end, even with their impressive backgrounds and knowledge, they assembled a world-class team of designers, engineers and children’s content creators.
Codi uses artificial intelligence and voice-enabled learning algorithms to deliver engaging content. A recommendation system automatically delivers stories, songs and educational content based on a child’s age and evolving interests.
Songs and stories are activated with a button interface or voice commands. The automated interpretation of language function may, at first, have trouble understanding a child who is still learning how to speak clearly. But the more Codi hears the child’s voice, the better it will be at recognizing the words.
Connect it to Wi-Fi for setup, to download a “starter set” of content, and to access free software updates. After set-up and download, Codi stores your child’s favorite songs and stories so that they can be played while offline, for instance, when your child and Codi are on a day trip.
Codi is equipped with onboard memory for offline play and over 10 hours of battery life. To recharge the battery, plug the included microUSB cable into any USB Type A port.
All data is stored on encrypted servers to protect your family’s privacy, including voice data that can be deleted at any time.
A free mobile app, iOS and Android compatible, allows parents to have as much control over Codi as they want, including:
- Managing playlists to add new content, delete content and download your child’s favorites for offline use.
- Checking on what your child has been playing.
- Finding out how your child is progressing.
- Setting step-by-step routines to develop good habits, such as when it is time to take a nap.
- Sending and receiving voicemails between the app and Codi.