Wednesday, 8 August 2018

The new Anki Vector robot is smart enough to just hang out

the table before me are two diminutive robots, each emitting endearing little robot beeps and bloops, their screen eyes active. When I knock on the table, one of them turns to face the noise with surprising alacrity. The other just watches my face, turning slowly to keep me in focus as I move around.
These are prototypes for Vector, the latest robot from Anki, the company behind both the Cozmo and the Overdrive RC cars. I spent the day in Anki’s labs in San Francisco to learn just what Vector is and — critically — what it can do. When it ships in October for $249.99 (or cheaper for early Kickstarter backers), Anki will be marketing it as a “home robot.” It’s a sort of Cozmo for adults, a step beyond that robot’s learn-to-code toy ethos.
You can ask it questions, play games with it, and even pet it to elicit a chirpy little purr. But Anki doesn’t want you to focus on Vector’s functionality. The company has been putting a lot of effort into its personality. And because Vector is completely autonomous, you can do something completely surprising for a new piece of technology: just ignore it, and let it do its own thing.

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