May 8, 2019 - Technology

Anki aims to let cloud-dependent robots live on after its death

In this image, an Anki robot faces a chess board and a rook stands in front of it.

Anki's Vector relies on the cloud for much of its capability. Photo: Anki

The news of Anki's impending demise sent loyal owners begging for some way to make sure that its cloud-dependent robots would outlive the company that created them.

What's new: In a post to its website on Tuesday, Anki offered a vague promise of a reprieve after users pleaded in forums and on Twitter for everyone from Elon Musk to Amazon to adopt the soon-to-be-orphaned product lines.

"In order to provide long term support of our products, Anki has contracted our most senior leaders and hands-on engineers across all the technical areas involved in maintaining the operation and functionality in the existing products and apps.
"[W]e have arranged for any support in the event [intervention] does become necessary. Vector is the only product with a notable cloud component, and the contracted team is heavily staffed in that area."
— Anki statement

Yes, but: The post didn't say how much functionality the devices would retain, or for how long.

  • "We plan to solidify and communicate all the details of this plan soon," it said.
  • And even if the cloud services remain, it could be tough for the devices to survive other changes, such as new operating systems or network protocols.

Go deeper: Robotics startup Anki shutting down despite $200M in funding

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