Aging Tech

September 17th, 2013
Why Is Anki Drive So Special?


Why Is Anki Drive So Special?

Are you a tech geek looking for an extra-ordinary high-tech toy to get your motor running (so to speak)? If so, then you absolutely must consider Anki Drive. What makes Anki Drive so special? Learn all about it here . . .

Why Is Anki Drive So Special?

Start at the Beginning

To understand what makes Anki Drive your next must-have tech toy, it should help to know about the product’s developers. Anki (pronounced “on-key”) is a robotics and artificial intelligence company whose mission is to make cutting edge technology in both of these sectors available to everyone–even the average layperson–the idea being to use this technology to solve “very difficult problems” in “the real world.” Founded by a group of PhD graduates from Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute, the San-Francisco based Anki corporation is the embodiment of advanced technology, big thinking, and human interest, all rolled into one.

What is Anki Drive?

On the surface level, Anki Drive is a remote-control car. Only, it is really so much more–or, rather, it is a remote-control car like you’ve never seen before. It is designed to navigate by way of an on-board optical sensor that can either follow a physical track that you “lay down” (in whatever route or design you like) or a virtual track that the car navigates autonomously. The remote control, itself, is your iPhone!

The Hardware

In addition to your iPhone (which is “converted” into a remote control by way of an app), the Anki Drive comes with a svelte toy race car (about the size of yesteryear’s slot cars), as well as a roll-up track. The track is actually a mat that is embedded with positioning markers that are specially encoded for the car’s optical sensors. You get all of this for a mere $200 (the iPhone app is free), which actually equates to approximately the same price as the aforementioned slot cars when you account for inflation, making the Anki Drive arguably well-priced.

The High-tech Details

What makes the Anki Drive work so well? It is powered by dual motors and a 50-MHz processor, which gives the car’s optical sensor the ability to record and report back on the vehicle’s exact positioning on its track (by way of a low-power Bluetooth wireless module) a whopping 500 instances per second! It is this impressive capability that enables the Anki Drive to navigate a track autonomously, even among a group of Anki Drive cars, without crashing.

The Anki Drive is getting a lot of media attention, and for good reason. If you’re into all that is high-tech and are looking for a little bit of fun, then you simply must give this cutting-edge tech toy a test spin. Anki Drive hit the market in summer of 2013.

  • Sep 17, 2013
  • Beth Gonzalez
  • Gadgets