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Jun 11, 2013, 09:32 PM
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Intelligent toys

ANKI DRIVE first look WWDC 2013 (2 min 34 sec)

Another startup unveils a killer app for UAVs based on the concept of the intelligent toy.

"We are trying to combine the best of physical toys, the fact that they're tangible, with all the best things with video games — that they adapt to you, evolve, get better over time and stay fun"

The product remanes extremely secret, but seems to be a swarm of autonomous line following cars with the intelligence on an iOS phone broadcasting commands to bare bones electronics. They raised $50 million on just that. Imagine if they demoed autonomous flying toys like I developed for 7 years.

They put a release date at Nov with a set of intelligent cars costing $200. If the concept takes off, you won't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting into the intelligent toy business, after that. Of course, if they flop, you won't need to worry about missing out either.

The big leagues continue to be an ivy league boys club. You could not raise that kind of money for a toy startup without a PhD from Carnegie Mellon behind your name & you can't start a business on a hugely rare $100,000 kickstarter windfall.

If the same thing was translated to flying toys, it would use the optical flow floor pattern. Multiple copters would fly around a ground track with some ground based aid to the video processing. Maybe some vertical obstacles could be placed for the machines to learn their way around, with IR obstacle avoidance.

A 3D copter racing game would add a new dimension to the $50 million Anki car game, but no-one ever invested in a product with a BS in partying from the middle of nowhere mountain university behind it.

As Goog bought a bunch of UAV startups, a toy startup made it to an Apple speech, another business becomes more legitimate & the requirements change. Guys who learned about robots in their garages are replaced by guys with years of formal grad school research. Suddenly, flying model airplanes requires a PhD.
Last edited by Jack Crossfire; Jun 11, 2013 at 09:51 PM.
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