Anki’s Cozmo and Vector greeted me by name five months later
Anki's Cozmo still gave me a fist bump, and Vector connected to Alexa through iOS 13.1
Just five months after Anki shuttered its doors, we launched two of its favorite robots, Cozmo and Vector, to see how both would work. Cozmo, the $180 robot that lost its parent when Anki shut down in May 2019, is still operating — while Vector, originally priced at $250, is also rolling around, with even more animation than its budget-friendly partner.
There are some issues that make both robots a little less nimble. But we particularly wanted to see if the apps would work on iOS 13.1, the most recent update from Apple for iPhones. The cute pint-sized robots are doing really well, with some small issues, with both Cozmo, which launched in 2017, and Vector, which appeared in 2018, chatty, and doing some of their tricks. Here's how they fared.
Anki Vector gives us a fist bump and tells us the weather five months after Anki shuts downwww.youtube.com
Anki, founded in 2010, shut down its doors about five months ago, unable to do find the investment funding to continue. While Anki's web site is still running, a pop-up appears when you try to click on the online shop, telling potential customers that they "are no longer manufacturing robots." Still, for those who have the robots — or choose to buy a used one online — Anki's closure hasn't meant the end of the Cozmo or Vector.
Both Cozmo and Vector's appeal centers around the personality baked inside each robot, with animated large eyes, a tendancy to purr or snore, and the ability to say your name. (Your dog or cat can't even do that.) The system is based on what Anki referred to as its Elemental platform, which supported its consumer toy division, and also included the popular Anki Overdrive, a car racing toy where players use their phones to drive vehicles on a track.
Today, while Cozmo played with his favorite blocks, and even recognized his owner, he fell asleep repeatedly when the Cozmo app would close on our iPhone X. That's a very different experience than we had with Vector, which rolls around on its own, playing and discovering, even if the app on our phone wasn't open — and even when our phone was asleep. In fact, we couldn't get any video of Cozmo really working. We also found some of the games didn't launch well, such as Memory Match.
GearBrain connects Anki Vector to Alexa, five months after Anki shuts downwww.youtube.com
Vector had a bit more energy, and was actually able to link to smart assistant Amazon Alexa, which the robot was originally able to do at its launch — and still clearly can. We did have to jump through some new hoops to get Vector back and bouncy, including wiping the robot's data, re-training it and then connecting. That took some time. But nearly five months after Anki's shutdown, we found that the two robots were doing fairly well. In short, here's what we were — and were not — able to make happen with both Cozmo and Vector.
Here's what we were able to get Cozmo to do:
Here's what we couldn't get Cozmo to do:
Anki Cozmo shutting down when app is not openyoutu.be
Here's what we were able to get Vector to do:
Here's what we couldn't get Vector to do:
That the two robots, particularly Vector, are still workable months after Anki shut down is something worth noting, given the number of digital toys that turn into bricks very quickly. In this case, those higher ticket prices for the Anki robot line, in particular Vector, were worth the investment.