Vector by Anki Digital Pet 2020 Updated Review.
Anki, the toymaker most well-known for its automated miniature race cars, has always billed itself as an artificial intelligence company with a knack for building robots. In this review, you will get to learn all about Vector by Anki Digital Robot.
About Vector by Anki
Vector is a strange mix. It’s a one-part amusing toy and one-part practical accessory. Or as Anki describes it, Vector is a home robot. Like with the Amazon Echo, Vector is capable of answering questions. Like a Roomba, it can explore the world around and avoid danger while doing its job.
But what really makes Vector a distinctly 21st-century robot is its interlink with the cloud, allowing it to continue learning over time.
Anki started off as a high-tech toy company, with the Drive and Overdrive lines of racing systems. It then set its sights on STEM education and cute mascots with the Cozmo programmable robot. Now Anki is slowly rolling into the realm of robot assistants with the Vector.
The Vector is a tiny $249.99 robot that doesn’t need to be programmed. It simply rolls around your desk or table, interacting with you and looking strangely adorable for a piece of plastic.
It’s also a voice assistant, providing similar functionality as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, but with an expressive set of eyes and an actual physical presence.
The Vector has a lot of potentials, and Anki has ambitious plans for future updates, but for now, it’s a helper robot that might be cuter than any Echo or Google Home speaker but isn’t nearly as useful.
- New games and capabilities are quite fun
- Vector’s personality is more defined
- It can talk now
- Designed mostly to sit passively on your desk
- Mobile app is slightly clunky and can’t initiate any commands
- Limited by not using existing voice assistants
- Vector is a companion made to hang out and help out. Powered by ai and advanced robotics, he’s alive with personality and engaged by sight, sound, and touch.
- Vector is voice-activated and will answer questions, take photos for you, time dinner, show you the weather, and more. Voice features are currently English language only.
- If you choose to set up Alexa on your vector, you’ll be able to: set reminders, control smart home devices like lights, speakers, and thermostats, and so much more.
- Vector can independently navigate and self-charge. He recognizes people and avoids obstacles.
- Vector is an updating platform, Cloud-connected via Wi-Fi so he’s always learning and updating with new skills and features.
- Requirements: a compatible iOS or Android device and the free Vector app for setting up only. Check compatibility at Anki.Com/devices. Includes 1 Vector robot, 1 cube, 1 charger (USB power adapter not included).
- There are some Alexa features Vector will not support like playing songs from streaming music services via Spotify, SiriusXM, Pandora, etc. But we’d rather you connect your tunes to an external smart speaker so Vector can show off his dance moves
- While Anki has ceased product development and manufacturing, Anki has stated that it will provide long term support to maintain the operation and functionality in the existing products and apps. A self-serve Help Center to assist in getting the most out of your product has been implemented by Anki. Regretfully there are no agents available but Anki has indicated that they will be monitoring cloud operations for Anki accounts and Vector.
Setup and Requirements
Setting up Vector is done through Anki’s free app. After its setup, you don’t need to use the app again. But the app does provide visualizations of Vector’s mood, and it’s where you can find stored the various selfies which you may have instructed Vector to take.
To operate Vector, you’ll need a few things. One is a compatible mobile device, either a smartphone, tablet, or something similar. This step is necessary for loading settings for Vector and initiating startup. The next thing you’ll need is a USB power adapter, and a compatible mobile device, a 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi router.
If you don’t know anything about routers, you can rest easy, virtually every router on the planet uses the 2.4Ghz band. And while Vector moves from one room to the next, using that band allows it to retain access to the Internet as well as your smartphone does under similar circumstances.
Who Should Choose Vector by Anki?
Nobody needs to be sold on the convenience of voice assistants. Much the same is true of Vector’s core abilities. It has a growing power to help orchestrate a smart home, it’s adorable to watch in action, and it’s only gaining new features over time. Vector answers questions keeps you up-to-date, and at its release can already nearly do everything an ordinary voice assistant can do.
Beyond practicality, there’s no denying that Vector is unique. And it is fun to watch Vector trundle from one place to the next, like watching a kitten explore the world.
Vector is kid-friendly, and unlike a flesh-and-blood pet, Vector can more or less take care of itself with self-charging. That makes Vector by Anki an excellent gift or a fun novelty for anyone enamoured by smart-home devices.