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MacRumors
Jun 10, 2013, 12:18 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/06/10/anki-debuts-ankidrive-intelligent-robotic-car-game/)


On stage at WWDC today, Tim Cook stepped aside to allow app developer Anki to debut a new product, known as Anki Drive. According to Cook, "Anki uses iOS devices and the iOS platform to bring artificial intelligence and robotics into our daily lives."

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2013/06/anki-800x450.jpg
The product uses smart robotic toy cars powered by Bluetooth to drive on a track. The cars know their location and they are able to react to their surroundings in real time. They can see the track up to 500 times a second to analyze their surroundings and they are equipped to handle a multitude of situations on the printed race track. Players can control the cars via the iPad or the iPhone through an accompanying app.

The full Anki Drive experience, which is described as a "video game in the real world," is coming to Apple Stores this fall, while the app is available for download today.


Article Link: Anki Debuts 'Anki Drive' Intelligent Robotic Car Game (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/06/10/anki-debuts-ankidrive-intelligent-robotic-car-game/)



YourHerojb
Jun 10, 2013, 12:19 PM
Aiden sucks.

SandboxGeneral
Jun 10, 2013, 12:19 PM
Aiden sucks.

Why is that?

Wayfarer
Jun 10, 2013, 12:20 PM
Anki rocks!

kidmullet
Jun 10, 2013, 12:29 PM
Aiden sucks.

I agree with you completely, let's talk this over with our Hot wheels.:apple:

KeepCalmPeople
Jun 10, 2013, 12:51 PM
Talk about hitting the jackpot. How many developers would have loved to have been picked by Apple to showcase their product at the Keynote at WWDC?

ikir
Jun 10, 2013, 12:54 PM
awesome concepts... i think i will start to play with machines again like when i was a kid!

ritmomundo
Jun 10, 2013, 02:38 PM
The concept has a lot of potential. Too bad the implementation was so juvenile. Im looking forward to seeing what else they can do with this technology.

efktd
Jun 10, 2013, 02:50 PM
I was really pulling for them when their showcase had a glitch. Glad they got to finish the demo.

AppleMark
Jun 10, 2013, 02:55 PM
Looks like they re-engineered the Scaletrix.

Felt a bit sorry for them, with the 'ANKI DRIVE - FAIL' moment.

Snookerman
Jun 10, 2013, 02:56 PM
I didn't really understand the point of this. They never showed how this connect to iOS. We just saw some toy cars.

MasterHowl
Jun 10, 2013, 03:07 PM
We've come a long way since this:

http://www.farina1.com/scalextric/scalextric4.jpg

I remember using one of these about 8 years ago as a kid thinking "how can it get any better than this"?

Now, less than 10 years on, we've got artificially intelligent robot cars using my phone (which weighs less than an apple) as their brain, racing round on a roll up mat. A ROLL UP MAT.

Stuff like this may only be "novelty" and not have a massive impact on every day life, but it really is a brilliant demonstration of how amazing technology is. What an exciting time to be alive!

EDIT: they also recovered pretty well when one of their cars didn't want to play ball

pubwvj
Jun 10, 2013, 03:18 PM
The point of this, for those that miss it, is that play like this is what leads to advancements. Self guided robots that can help the elderly and disabled, work in hospitals delivering and cleaning, do janitorial work in offices and factories, do dangerous work, fight wars, etc.

beaniemyman
Jun 10, 2013, 04:02 PM
this is like going back in time. i dont think this thing is going to get a good response.

street.cory
Jun 10, 2013, 04:03 PM
Thought this was so cool! Didn't have a lot of appeal to me in its current state, but boy do I see some interesting possibilities for this type of technology!

notjustjay
Jun 10, 2013, 04:08 PM
I didn't really understand the point of this. They never showed how this connect to iOS. We just saw some toy cars.

Toy cars which analyze their surroundings up to 500 times per second and then use that information to decide what to do next.

Don't see it as toy cars. They are autonomous, self-driving robotic vehicles operating in real-time.

At any given snapshot in time they need to know where they are (presumably using sensors to determine their relative position on the track, though it is possible they have access to the top-view camera for image processing -- I didn't catch the whole demo so I don't know). How far are they from the edges of the "road"? Are there any obstacles or other vehicles nearby? If so, which ones? Where will they be in the next snapshot if they continue their current velocity? Should they apply brakes? Accelerate? Steer left or right?

And that's just to maintain a course around the track. They demonstrated that each vehicle can also be given mission parameters. "Block that other car". Now they need to calculate even more than just what they are doing, they need to also sense the position of the other cars and calculate what they are doing, and then calculate a reactionary move to foil the opponent. Now they have multiple levels of operation -- level 1 is "survive" (e.g. don't crash or fall off the track), level 2 is "fulfill my mission".

Did I mention this was all happening 500 times per second?

And all being calculated on an iOS device?

Presumably one iOS device controls each vehicle. So there is a steady stream of chatter going back and forth over Bluetooth. The vehicle probably sends up telemetry about what it sees/senses, then the iOS app calculates what it thinks the car should do next, then sends a command back via Bluetooth.

komodrone
Jun 10, 2013, 04:13 PM
Hay Anki, how was the half-million dollar coffee meeting?

wiesel59
Jun 10, 2013, 04:29 PM
Think Skynet will come along and buy Anki any time soon? Yikes!

star-affinity
Jun 10, 2013, 04:45 PM
The point of this, for those that miss it, is that play like this is what leads to advancements. Self guided robots that can help the elderly and disabled, work in hospitals delivering and cleaning, do janitorial work in offices and factories, do dangerous work, fight wars, etc.

Until they get conscious and don't want to do these things anymore.

Jessica Lares
Jun 10, 2013, 04:51 PM
I liked it too. Found it really weird that they showcased this, but I could totally see this being played with at my house.

Kissaragi
Jun 10, 2013, 05:11 PM
It is really cool, lots of potential for the future.

RevTEG
Jun 10, 2013, 05:15 PM
I don't think the real point was the toys... It was more about the future. Robotics and such would have incredible uses way beyond toys.

PJL500
Jun 10, 2013, 06:28 PM
OK, great tech, but very juicy cars... motors, friction, sensors and Bluetooth... . A max of 4 minutes battery life before a 1-hr rechage?

dec.
Jun 10, 2013, 06:38 PM
The concept is great and the cars are a neat way to demonstrate the possibilities in a very comprehensive way. Having said that, the guys did come across like homebrewers than a professional business, everything from the second they rolled out their race track mat to the awkward tech fail break. Tim Cook's lack of enthusiasm in "they will be very successful!!" afterwards didn't help either... all in all it probably wasn't the ideal timing for that segment of the show.

dbrinn
Jun 10, 2013, 08:03 PM
I don't think the real point was the toys... It was more about the future. Robotics and such would have incredible uses way beyond toys.

I agree. Apple chose this company not only to exhibit how developers are utilizing the iOS environment, but also to hint at another interest of theirs...cars.

They have 150 billion in the bank...this wasn't about toys or video games.

Supa_Fly
Jun 10, 2013, 09:40 PM
The concept has a lot of potential. Too bad the implementation was so juvenile. Im looking forward to seeing what else they can do with this technology.

WHAT? Oh come on ... that presentation didn't bring out the early 80's kid in you?! That was like having Spy Hunter and classic Fox RC cars rolled into one! I had one of those grand-daddy moments when i saw that and was like cool RC just got a boost into 2013 (and not just the flying RC toys).

Now if only they'd release that for BB10 ?? (PS: don't hate on my mobile platform of choice).

thefourthpope
Jun 10, 2013, 10:29 PM
I just stick one of those in my ashtray and it's hands-free driving, right?

PracticalMac
Jun 10, 2013, 10:40 PM
As a robot its way ahead of those simple Radio Shack follow the line bots or an Arduino, but I don't yet see how it is a foundation for anything grand.

Yes, it likely will inspire the next gen of robot makers.

Aiden sucks.

Who??

sjinsjca
Jun 11, 2013, 12:06 AM
I don't think the real point was the toys... It was more about the future. Robotics and such would have incredible uses way beyond toys.

The real point was, "Hey, Google, you know those self-driving cars of yours? Suck on this!" That was the real point.

Renzatic
Jun 11, 2013, 12:17 AM
but I don't yet see how it is a foundation for anything grand.

It doesn't need to be grand. All it needs to be is ****ing RAD!

And there, it succeeds spectacularly. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3018396/Misc/arms.gif

Snookerman
Jun 11, 2013, 03:39 AM
Toy cars which analyze their surroundings up to 500 times per second and then use that information to decide what to do next.

Don't see it as toy cars. They are autonomous, self-driving robotic vehicles operating in real-time.

At any given snapshot in time they need to know where they are (presumably using sensors to determine their relative position on the track, though it is possible they have access to the top-view camera for image processing -- I didn't catch the whole demo so I don't know). How far are they from the edges of the "road"? Are there any obstacles or other vehicles nearby? If so, which ones? Where will they be in the next snapshot if they continue their current velocity? Should they apply brakes? Accelerate? Steer left or right?

And that's just to maintain a course around the track. They demonstrated that each vehicle can also be given mission parameters. "Block that other car". Now they need to calculate even more than just what they are doing, they need to also sense the position of the other cars and calculate what they are doing, and then calculate a reactionary move to foil the opponent. Now they have multiple levels of operation -- level 1 is "survive" (e.g. don't crash or fall off the track), level 2 is "fulfill my mission".

Did I mention this was all happening 500 times per second?

And all being calculated on an iOS device?

Presumably one iOS device controls each vehicle. So there is a steady stream of chatter going back and forth over Bluetooth. The vehicle probably sends up telemetry about what it sees/senses, then the iOS app calculates what it thinks the car should do next, then sends a command back via Bluetooth.

Don't get me wrong, I did think it was impressive. They just didn't show the connection to iOS. It would have been nice to see the app they were using to send commands to the car, or anything at all.

Sakuraba
Jun 11, 2013, 03:46 AM
Hmmm...my dirty mind think this will wonder of to sextoys in all shapes, sizes and forms.

Just pray there is no "malfunction" at the wrong moment:D

Ouch!:eek:

TC25
Jun 11, 2013, 05:24 AM
The point of this, for those that miss it, is that play like this is what leads to advancements. Self guided robots that can help the elderly and disabled, work in hospitals delivering and cleaning, do janitorial work in offices and factories, do dangerous work, fight wars, etc.

This. Only people of zero imagination and vision can't/won't see beyond the toys.

ader
Jun 11, 2013, 06:26 AM
This. Only people of zero imagination and vision can't/won't see beyond the toys.

I agree.

But, as for the toys, I don't see them as a success. I can't see what fun there is in just watching robot cars do things, there's no direct personal involvement. No play as such. It's like watching someone else play a video-game; boring. I'm sticking to Hot Wheels.

e747
Jun 11, 2013, 07:18 AM
I agree. Apple chose this company not only to exhibit how developers are utilizing the iOS environment, but also to hint at another interest of theirs...cars.

They have 150 billion in the bank...this wasn't about toys or video games.

Agree, except I think their interest is more in robotics, far more upside.

Solomani
Jun 11, 2013, 08:52 AM
Next would be for Apple and iOS to introduce drone-controlling technology.... in the hands of everyday users. :D

bstpierre
Jun 11, 2013, 09:02 AM
I agree.

But, as for the toys, I don't see them as a success. I can't see what fun there is in just watching robot cars do things, there's no direct personal involvement. No play as such. It's like watching someone else play a video-game; boring. I'm sticking to Hot Wheels.

I agree that I would not enjoy watching my toys play with each other for long but some people enjoy the process of determine what specs to use on the car to get the best performance and that seems to be what this game would be all about (outside of the future technology that will come from it).

Solomani
Jun 11, 2013, 09:05 AM
Ahh, good old Apple is endorsing Tyco-like robotic toy cars. Meanwhile, Samsung already has a headstart with their AI sexbots. The future of entertainment is bright!

GSPice
Jun 11, 2013, 09:17 AM
The concept has a lot of potential. Too bad the implementation was so juvenile. Im looking forward to seeing what else they can do with this technology.

http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/001/582/picard-facepalm.jpg?1240934151

BornAgainMac
Jun 11, 2013, 09:30 AM
The AI reminded me of the Terminator movies.

HitchHykr
Jun 11, 2013, 09:38 AM
OK, great tech, but very juicy cars... motors, friction, sensors and Bluetooth... . A max of 4 minutes battery life before a 1-hr rechage?

You are missing the forest for the trees...

notjustjay
Jun 11, 2013, 09:41 AM
Image (http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/001/582/picard-facepalm.jpg?1240934151)

Yes, exactly! This type of AI research is what will eventually lead to more intelligent robotics and AI systems like that on the USS Enterprise :D

You are missing the forest for the trees...

I understand his point though; while I get excited by theoretical AI research being proven in the real world (I did my Master's thesis on something very similar to what the Anki guys demo'd yesterday), if they are hoping to take this out of the science lab and into people's living room floors, as they proposed during the keynote, then they will have to deal with the real-world issues that come with it.

As a lot of the people in this thread appear to indicate, not everyone appreciates the theory behind the scenes; they see toy cars and they want to play with toy cars. Otherwise it's "boring". The same thing will happen if the toys are finicky or have poor battery life.

That said, I think I'd buy a set. If it's anything like what we saw in the demo, my thesis supervisor would love to see this in action.

PracticalMac
Jun 11, 2013, 11:46 AM
I agree.

But, as for the toys, I don't see them as a success. I can't see what fun there is in just watching robot cars do things, there's no direct personal involvement. No play as such. It's like watching someone else play a video-game; boring. I'm sticking to Hot Wheels.

That's my sentiment too.

And it seems tied to a specific track, cant run on any surface without some markings.


It could be a solution looking for a problem, but it is still a big achievement.

technopimp
Jun 11, 2013, 12:33 PM
Sorry, but I was one of those people who watched this and thought 'what's the point'? I get they are (in theory) developing advanced AI software that could *ONE DAY* be used in other applications, but their demo was for a product that they were shilling (shipping later this year) that, from what I could tell, was just to let you watch toy cars drive around a track.

I did not get the impression in ANY way that this was meant to be a life-altering tech demo of a future utopian-world where their AI enriches our lives. It was all about 'hey, check out what we built, we're going to be selling it later-come buy it'.

Except I didn't really get what *IT* was, or why I'd want to buy it.

Battlefield Fan
Jun 11, 2013, 09:09 PM
I felt bad for the employees as it seemed a little bugged but an awesome idea!

bacaramac
Jun 12, 2013, 08:53 AM
My guess is you will instruct your car to do something and so will your friend. One of you will prevail and win the race. The AI will decide how to execute your command like block, go faster, blow them up with missiles, avoid their weapons, etc.

I think this will be awesome, can't wait to buy it for my boys. They love these track things and play games like death rally on their iPods. This took my back to the 80's childhood in a big way.

skippymac
Jun 12, 2013, 09:07 AM
EDIT: they also recovered pretty well when one of their cars didn't want to play ball

They certainly recovered better than the guy playing Assassin's Creed 4 at Sony's E3. When it froze he just continued looking down and shifting uncomfortably! The whole Sony show was very stilted though I thought.

As for the Anki cars, I thought they were pretty awesome and a great representation of what is possible. I can see why some people may not think it was that impressive, especially non-tech savvy types, but developers (the intended audience) should see that this is really a pretty incredible feat!

Rossatron
Jun 12, 2013, 09:11 AM
I agree.

But, as for the toys, I don't see them as a success. I can't see what fun there is in just watching robot cars do things, there's no direct personal involvement. No play as such. It's like watching someone else play a video-game; boring. I'm sticking to Hot Wheels.

Yep, that's what I think too. It was a sort of "technology demonstrator' to show the lengths you could go tech-wise using your phone, nothing more than that. I mean, how fun can an auto-pilot kind of game be?

hafr
Jun 12, 2013, 09:18 AM
I agree.

But, as for the toys, I don't see them as a success. I can't see what fun there is in just watching robot cars do things, there's no direct personal involvement. No play as such. It's like watching someone else play a video-game; boring. I'm sticking to Hot Wheels.

Dude, are you kidding? Have you ever played a racing game on an iDevice? I guess you have. Now imagine doing it and being able to see the whole track and all the cars in front of you. If you're playing single player, set up the cars as automatic opponents, or have your friends over and let them play as well.

The old school black plastic tracks where you only controlled the speed, or the proper RC cars on big tracks, with the possibility of having opponents without anyone else playing, that can have weapons... Or that you can kill.

Seriously, you must have the worst imagination...

It wouldn't surprise me one bit if we'd see these cars equipped with cameras, so that when you're playing on your iPhone, you'll see what the car "sees", with added effects (like weapons, audience, whatnot).

Then, with a little bit of dreaming, we'll see table tops being able to display dynamic holograms where you can play. Imagine an FPS that you can look at when your friends are playing...

Man, I haven't been this excited about gameplay since Donkey Kong Country came out.

bedifferent
Jun 12, 2013, 11:56 AM
The point of this, for those that miss it, is that play like this is what leads to advancements. Self guided robots that can help the elderly and disabled, work in hospitals delivering and cleaning, do janitorial work in offices and factories, do dangerous work, fight wars, etc.

A few philosophical points (and some good ideas pubwvj):

We've already become too dependent on technology. We've become so dependent the majority of us "connect" through 1's and 0's on displays that give a false sense of belonging. Don't misunderstand, it's great that we can connect with people easily in many parts of the world, however it's at the cost of sheltering ourselves from physical, social contact. My good friend works in H.R. for a company based in NYC. The college grads and 20 somethings lack basic social skills, many of them don't make eye contact and text during job interviews.

The concept of producing robots/tech for war is troubling. Having more/all unmanned tech fight our will increase the already violent and dangerous weaponry as it will become more akin to a video game with the distance bet humanity and the battle field greatened. As for jobs/dangerous jobs, they're still jobs many need. With a faltering, volatile economy based on a an unsteady stock market, we've seen the dangers of investment banking, capitalistic corruption on par with a world tied to a system of uncertainty that makes communism seem "fair", and many people losing their jobs and homes (not from ignorance on their end, but from banks/investors shilling out so much, betting against defaults, derivatives, etc. - my father was an investment banker with Bear Stearns until his retirement in the 90's, I know the game all too well). We can't afford to lose a job market, and the skills and education required to develop and maintain such technology is out of reach for those many due to costs in education, etc. which wouldn't create more jobs, there would be less and a great socio-economic divide.

My point in this looooong *** comment, there's a good and bad side to too much tech. The internet is a great learning tool, yet the biggest market online is porn. The stock market could work well, yet greed has produced a very unsteady global financial market. Humanity takes something great, and ***** all over it. We get so caught up on "if" we can do it, we forget about "why" we're doing it, and the ramifications. The atom bomb is a great example, scientists and engineers get carried away they forget the philosophical complications of their work, leading to more inhumanity. I would like to see bioengineering for those who have lost limbs or need transplants, that is fascinating. My father lost both his legs due to diabetic non-compliance, was married to his work and didn't take care of his health, and I've had friends who have lost a lot in the wars overseas, it would be amazing to accomplish. However, we need to draw a line in the sand, and agree on what is beneficial and what is detrimental. We've already lost so much humanity in the past decade for many reasons, I don't want more technology getting between us and life for the sake of "improving" what is already great: ourselves.

/end rant :o

gizmotruth
Jun 13, 2013, 06:27 PM
I keep asking myself the same question: So what?
I'll wait for Hotwheels and every other toyco to deliver a swift, HARD uppercut to their egos in the toy aisle at HALF the price. And probably no expensive mat. And that's the bottom line. Better make them hackable. Otherwise....who cares?!

gary.silverton
Aug 1, 2013, 11:40 PM
I am a bit of a simpleton, so please excuse my ignorance...
How is this 'Anki Drive' any different to an ordinary little R/C car, that just happens to be controlled by an 'iphone'???
What does it do?
Gary.

Renzatic
Aug 2, 2013, 12:32 AM
I am a bit of a simpleton, so please excuse my ignorance...
How is this 'Anki Drive' any different to an ordinary little R/C car, that just happens to be controlled by an 'iphone'???
What does it do?
Gary.

One of the first lines in the article explains it.

"The cars know their location and they are able to react to their surroundings in real time".

In other words, they're Hot Wheels track cars that have a limited awareness of the environments they're racing in. It's pretty neat stuff.