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Robot company Anki folds

stunning! @Valijon thanks for posting!

I just heard a talk 6 months ago (Schedule | BARS 2018) from one of the co-founders, Mark Palatucci, about some technical aspects of interactions between Vector and remote data centers.

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the Kickstarter page has not updated yet, but the backers are already commenting about it:

Youre welcome. While Its always upsetting to see a robotics company fail, maybe this will free up market space for Sphero and Misty Robotics. One less competitor to deal with. Burning through 200 million dollars though, thats a serious management problem.

Some of their mistakes were obvious. One was going too cheap with very small non replaceable soft pack batteries for the cars. The big hit came with Vector. They didnt have a big programming community for it. Features were extremely limited and the masses were underwhelmed. The dissapointment was palpable. I started seeing Vectors show up on the second hand market very quickly and prices were plummeting. 100 to 120 dollars for a barely used Vector was not uncommon. They were guilty of the same problems as whats plagued UBTECH. Robots with bad microphones and IR sensors that couldnt locate desk or table edges. As you can surmise, this lead to many robots smashing into floors. One reason Im here is to help support this company however I can. My altruism is not devoid of self-interest. This is a company thats designed a product that any child would love to have. Hopefully, the first of many consumer and perhaps industrial robots. Someone let me know when the IPO is please!

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Thanks for getting this discussion started, @Valijon . In addition to considering Anki’s mistakes, what do folks think were the needs that their products met? (1.5M robot units sold as of mid-2018, according to The Verge.) When I read about and remember landmark platforms such as Apple II, I think about “usefulness”, and bringing an affordable, customizable value to the home, school or office environment. What usefulness did Anki bring? What usefulness can developers bring on the Misty II platform?


And I don’t mean that question just theoretically, for Misty, or to prompt lists of use cases that could potentially be built… What usefulness can be brought in Session One? And what other usefulness can be brought in Session Two? What links those experiences together so that the developer keeps turning Misty on day after day and trying something new?

Posted another article here that takes a broader view:

This went up yesterday about Anki auctioning off their assets.

For everyone wondering about a potential Anki comeback, don’t get your hopes up. Starting today and running through June 20, the assets inside Anki’s 40,000-square-foot office in San Francisco are being auctioned off.

I saw an article on this yesterday. Im curious to know what their 3rd prototype robot was going to be. They cut too many corners with Vector and it sank them. I owned one and could see very quickly that it needed to be returned.

Mattel has released Hot Wheels ID. Its a similar concept to Ankis overdrive. With the HW cars using NFC to know where they are. Mattel is also beating them out on price. Ive seen cars for ID selling for $7-15.

Its very easy to make a mistake that will wipe out a company. Mattel itself is in trouble after losing some lucrative licensing deals, especially for Disneys Frozen.