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With Anki Drive, robotics meets AI (pictures)

The debut product from Anki merges video game dynamics and mechanics with physical objects, allowing players to race toy cars against people or an artificial intelligence system.

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Daniel Terdiman

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Ready to rumble

SAN FRANCISCO -- Four months after a rare and coveted spot at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, Anki is ready to roll out its first product, Anki Drive, a driving game that mashes up robotics and consumer-grade artificial intelligence.
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Racing

Two Anki Drive cars race their way around the special track that comes with the $200 product. Because the track is covered in special ink and optics, the cars know exactly where they are at all times, and adjust their traction as they round the curves.
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Robot race car

Anki Drive comes with two cars, and expansion cars are available for $69 each. A race can match up as many as four players, or as little as one -- and up to three AI drivers.
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Laying out the track

Anki CEO Boris Sofman unrolls the Anki Drive track, which is 3.5 feet wide by 8.5 feet long. Anki Drive will be available in all US and Canadian Apple Stores, as well as at Anki.com and Apple.com.
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Mobile app

Players control their cars via an iOS app. They steer by tilting their device left or right, and can control various weapons and their speed with on-screen buttons. The cars communicate continuously with the device using Bluetooth LE, allowing them to always know precisely where they are on the track.
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All four cars

All four available Anki Drive cars sit side by side. The set comes with two cars, while two more are available for $69 each. Though similar, each car has slightly different capabilities, and each can be individually customized during and after game play.
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Expansion car

The packaging for one of Anki Drive's expansion cars.
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Character upgrade tree

The Anki Drive mobile app allows players to add new features to their cars.
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Home screen

The home screen of the Anki Drive iOS app.
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Anki Drive package

The Anki Drive package comes with everything a player needs to race two cars. If they want to add a third and possibly a fourth, they can purchase additional cars for $69 each.
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The Garage

In the "Garage," players can customize their cars and see all their attributes.
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App during driving

This is the app's driving screen, which lets players accelerate or decelerate, fire a weapon, or even use a tractor beam to pull in another car.
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Boson front view

A front view of Boson, one of the four Anki Drive cars. Each car has its own name -- and even personality.
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Sofman opening box

Anki CEO Boris Sofman opens the Anki Drive box, pulling out the two cars inside.
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Racing

Playing Anki Drive is easy with its iOS app.

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