San Francisco robotics startup Anki announces closure

Robotics company Anki will shut down after last-minute funding issue

Robotics company Anki will shut down after last-minute funding issue

In the meantime, employees will receive one week of severance pay, and we may have to bid farewell to the robot pals that had a kind of Pixar-like spunk and wit. The fate of the company's various consumer robotics products is unclear.

Anki drove into the spotlight in 2013, thanks to a stage demo at an Apple press event, there the company showed off Anki Drive, an AI-equipped remote control auto racing game. This real-world video game involved miniature self-driving cars racing around a track. That demo didn't go perfectly, foreshadowing continued struggles for the company. Anki OVERDRIVE - the vehicle racing set - was enjoyable but only for a fairly brief time, and Anki Vector just didn't feel as enjoyable to use.

Anki's demise was part of a string of failed efforts to launch life-like robots into the market.

- A startup that tried to advance the dream of intelligent robots in the home with its toy robot Cozmo is shutting down.

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Anki, the robotics company behind the Alexa-powered Vector bot, is shutting down. However, it would seem the company didn't have enough positive cash flow to keep the lights on. Although, now they can probably acquire the AI tech behind Anki's products for a pittance.

Anki told Recode in a statement that it was left "without significant funding to support a hardware and software business and bridge to our long-term product roadmap" and, in spite of its past success "a significant financial deal at a late stage fell through with a strategic investor and we were not able to reach an agreement". But according to Recode, the startup has encountered acquisition interest from companies such as Microsoft, Amazon and Comcast.

All the company's products relied on mobile apps for programming and control. The robots connect over Bluetooth, so local features should still work.

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