For revving up robotics with high-tech toy cars.
Robotics and artificial-intelligence company Anki is bringing previously out-of-reach technology to consumers. Its first product, Anki Drive, is a racing system that lets you control AI–powered miniature cars with a mobile phone. The toy--released in October--is so sophisticated that it could help improve self-driving cars and other machines. "The core problems you face in robotics [have a lot in] common," says Boris Sofman. "It's the same types of algorithms and strategies and approaches." Apple, for one, is impressed: Anki was the only outside company that presented at the keynote of its Worldwide Developers Conference last year.