Robotics company Anki is launching its Vector home robot today. The Vector first showed up on Kickstarter in August and received almost $2 million in funding.
The Vector is the successor to Anki’s first robot toy Cozmo. The company is also known for its Overdrive RC cars. But Vector is angled more as a home buddy than a toy. It’s connected to the cloud, and it even has Amazon Alexa built in to field digital assistant queries like asking for the weather or starting timers. You can activate the robot with the voice command, “Hey Vector,” and it will respond with eye contact and a computerized voice. Unlike other digital assistants, Vector’s differentiating feature is that it’s autonomous, and it acts like a cute pet that chirps and purrs. It’s equipped with a 720p camera that allows it to be aware of its surroundings as it navigates your home or tabletop. When Vector’s battery runs low, it rolls back to a charging dock that comes included in the package.
Anki says it is planning other features for Vector, including messaging personal contacts, security camera integrations, and support for Tile. Vector costs $249.99 from Amazon or Anki’s website, and it requires an iOS or Android device and a Wi-Fi connection to work.