Anki DRIVE – A Review

| December 27, 2013 | 11 Comments

Christmas is over, waiting for the year to end and for a fresh start to an awesome year ahead. I am sure everyone has already opened up their christmas presents from their loved ones, and of course some are still fussing about UPS and Fedex not yet delivering their long bought gifts!!!

I saw this FaceBook share from one of my friends who got her son an Anki-DRIVE. I started wondering what that is, never having heard of such a game, I started looking around and I should say that I was pleasantly surprised with what level technology has grown to invent such wonderful TOYS.

I agree that it makes a wonderful gift for your kids, and it takes Artificial Intelligence to the next level altogether. The moment I saw the video (shared below) I was certain that it will be a major hit among kids and even adults who are into gaming. Now that it also got featured on Ellen Degeneres show, what more can you expect for this new invention.

Let’s Review:

The Anki Drive seems to be the first initial step to the future of robotics and artificial intelligence combined together with seemingly unlimited possibilities yet to come. When you first see the video above, you will see that it is another racing game, but once you get into the game, you will also observe that it is not “just a game”, but those miniature cars are making several thousands of intelligent decisions every second!!!

Anki Drive cars are not just cars, but highly engineered robots which are so well designed and stuffed with intelligent software that allows them to make these decisions and also execute them with precision. They are our wildest fantasies come true – Toy cars that have come to life!!!

Obviously these cars have sensors built onto them to enable such AI, but the most important sensor of them all is the tiny camera built to the bottom-front of the car, which tells the car precisely where on the track it is located and allows the software to make super fast decisions on how to turn and steer the wheel.

This camera also allows the car to “see through” the top layer of the Anki Surface using infrared light. What the cars see is what a common human eye cannot – sophisticated code that gives them all the decision making information they need to understand their position on the track and maintain that ultimate precision during the drive.

ankiDRIVE_trackCode_500x500

 

Some of the Game Highlights: (as described by Anki)

  • You can play against your friends or against an AI-enabled opponent
  • The AI cars own the road; they know your every move – and the more you drive, the more they evolve
  • Up to four vehicles can play at once; you and friends use iOS devices to control one to four of the cars. AI controls any of the cars that you dont control!!!
  • Anki Drive includes a physical track that rolls out to 3.5 by 8.5 feet and is for indoors.

Requirements:

To take control of the cars, you will need one of the following:

  • iPhone 4s or newer
  • iPod touch 5th generation or newer
  • iPad 3 or newer
  • iPad mini

No live internet connection is needed to play the Anki Drive. The track can be placed on any flat surface, though flooring or a low-pile carpet works best. The vehicles or cars have a rechargeable Lithium-ion polymer batter, an 8 minute charge gives up to 20 minutes of play.

Over to You:

Do you think you could have purchased this as your christmas present this year if you had known before? I would definitely love to have this for my daughter, maybe for her upcoming birthday!!!Sounds like fun and I am sure I will end up playing a lot more than her :-) Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!!!

 

 

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Gaming, Technology

About the Author (Author Profile)

Praveen Rajarao is a Software Tech Lead and in his spare time blogs on his website – http://www.dailymorningcoffee.com and http://www.techivy.com. His topics range from blogging to technology to affiliate programs and making money online and how-to guides.

Comments (11)

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  1. Hi Praveen, I had heard about these cars but didn’t realize they were being sold now. How cool they are! As I recall they were going to be quite expensive though. But the price of tech usually drops at some point, right?

    I hope you get Anki Drive someday, Praveen!
    Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently posted…Kindle Fire HDX with the Mayday Button – A Radically Different TabletMy Profile

    • praveen says:


      Twitter:
      Hi Carolyn,

      Yes, they are out now, and priced at $199 for the basic starter kit. I know, they are quite expensive, but the technology built in them, I think it demands the price.

      Of course, we will wait and see if they tend to reduce it any further :-)

      Hope you had a wonderful christmas, thanks for stopping by.
      praveen recently posted…How to Embed using Google Maps ViewerMy Profile


  2. Twitter:
    Hello praveen. Very nice review! I get to know all about after reading this post. Thanks for reviewing it. The way you reviewed is also quite.


  3. Twitter:
    They do look awesome :D

    As Carolyn mentioned, the price is kind of high, but you can’t expect an advanced tech toy such as this to be cheap (I am amazed by the level of technology in this toy…can’t wait for the future).

    And, hopefully, in the future, this toy will support more devices (I think limiting themselves to Apple phones is a bad idea).

    Anyways, thank you for sharing this, Praveen :) Appreciate it!

    • praveen says:


      Twitter:
      Jeevan – Welcome back here, and hope you had a wonderful start to 2014.

      Yes, the price is a bit high, and of course the limitation of iOS devices makes it rather restricted as you have pointed out rightly.

      I do wish they come back with a more flexible option and allow other gaming devices to be linked to this.

      Thanks for stopping by.
      praveen recently posted…How to Embed using Google Maps ViewerMy Profile

  4. Mayura says:

    Hi Praveen,

    Gaming experience in real-world, eh? ;) Even weapons can be enabled for the vehicles. Like Death Race. Really cool!

    Actually, it’s not the game itself makes me so excited, but all behind the scenes and what we can expect in near future. Love to watch how customization can be applied. May be they should have demonstrated it in this video. Gotta search if there’s a video available in YouTube. Guess it’s time to get away from PC for gaming ;)

    Yet I wish it supports Android devices too. Hopefully, in future with lot more improvements :)

    You have a Happy New Year and enjoy your week Praveen :)

    Cheers…
    Mayura recently posted…Monitor Your Website for Outages with PingdomMy Profile

    • praveen says:


      Twitter:
      Mayura – Happy new year to you too.

      Oh yes, I am already into gaming these days, got my PS3 up and running with some hot games. I bought it a year back, but never got hooked onto any games. Now I have bought more than 5 games, and checking each one out :-)

      Yes, they need to give us a more flexible option to use any smart device of our choice instead of just the iOS ones, that is indeed a bummer. Hope they do come up with an alternative option.

      Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week ahead.
      praveen recently posted…How to Embed using Google Maps ViewerMy Profile

  5. JD says:

    I love everything about cars and I found this post really interesting. I know a lot of car lovers out there will love it too. I just had some car wraps and I recommend it to everybody. It is a good way to give your car a fresh, new look. It is really cool.
    JD recently posted…Be Wary Of Wrap ScamsMy Profile

  6. Suprabhat says:

    you have mentioned all the requirements right that it all needs

    iPhone 4s or newer
    iPod touch 5th generation or newer
    iPad 3 or newer
    iPad mini

    this are must
    Suprabhat recently posted…How to Install Alexa Widget on BlogsMy Profile

  7. nikki says:

    That’s real fun having an iPhone like that. I will try that one sooner.

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