Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,690
16,867



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."

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
 

ikir

macrumors 68000
Sep 26, 2007
1,662
1,407
awesome concepts... i think i will start to play with machines again like when i was a kid!
 

ritmomundo

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2011
1,929
329
Los Angeles, CA
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

macrumors 6502
Sep 29, 2011
490
566
USA
I was really pulling for them when their showcase had a glitch. Glad they got to finish the demo.
 

Snookerman

macrumors 6502
Jul 6, 2008
391
9
I didn't really understand the point of this. They never showed how this connect to iOS. We just saw some toy cars.
 

MasterHowl

macrumors 65816
Oct 3, 2010
1,024
55
North of England
We've come a long way since this:

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

macrumors 68000
Oct 1, 2004
1,895
200
Mountains of Vermont
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.
 

street.cory

macrumors 6502
Oct 13, 2009
379
167
It's so nice to have a break from the flame wars going on about the redesign

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

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,055
162
Canada, eh?
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.
 

star-affinity

macrumors 68000
Nov 14, 2007
1,525
788
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.
 

RevTEG

macrumors 65816
Oct 28, 2012
1,205
970
San Jose, Ca
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

macrumors 6502
Nov 27, 2011
274
171
Tiny cars

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.

Suspended
Apr 15, 2012
1,349
764
Toronto
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

macrumors newbie
Oct 18, 2012
9
0
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.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.