UNBOXED: Reviewing Anki’s Vector Home Robot
Ever since Arnold Schwarzenegger was sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor and the world became aware of the existence of Skynet, we humans have had a really hard time trusting robots. It’s understandable. We’ve basically only ever seen them in the movies as these other-worldly sorts of beings that have one mission built in, and that’s the end humanity. And they’ve never really done anything to help correct that perception—except for maybe WALL-E. But that’s exactly what Anki is aiming to do with the recent launch of their Vector home robot.
A company we’ve come across before, Anki has quietly built a nice arsenal of products—the good kind—that are baked around the concept of entertainment. Vector follows that theme, but it takes a bit more of a grown up approach to the robotics category. For those familiar with Anki’s Cozmo robot, Vector looks like an identical twin to the elder bot, but whereas the former was designed with kids in mind, Vector certainly takes a very different approach to life as a robot.
Vector, first and foremost, is meant to be a helpful robot. He might not be able to bring you a beer or pick up after the dog, but he’s got enough utilities and sensors built in that makes him fun to have around the house. Out of the box (and thanks to a recent software update), Vector can give you weather updates, set timers, offer unit conversions, and reach into the depths of the internet for some obscure factoids. He’s also able to scan and recognize faces, take photos that get stored in the Vector app, and stand in as your blackjack dealer. Perhaps most importantly, he can remind you who won Super Bowl LII this past February.