Robotics Systems Engineer Daniel Casner Breaks Down What Happened to Anki Robotics

Robotics

One engineer explains what made Anki Robotics’ failure so significant for the further understanding of robot products that will eventually not fail / Photo by: epredator via Flickr

 

After suffering layoffs and the eventual reality they will no longer be able to ship products after projects like Cozmo and Vector, Daniel Casner, a robotics systems engineer, explains what made Anki Robotics’ failure so significant for the further understanding of robot products that will eventually not fail.

Since he also worked as a senior hardware engineer at Anki, Casner told the crowd at the 2019 Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) in Boston that the important thing that can be learned from the break down of Anki is to keep goals well-defined, and this includes having to know what a consumer robot is.

It was originally the idea of Anki to release what are called “consumer robots”, but like most other products, this should have been defined clearly.

Companies should be prepared to handle these consumer robots as doubling as platforms as well, and “relying on third parties to create the worthwhile content.”

Casner also warns of getting stuck in the pitfalls of smartphone assumptions.

He clarifies that this is because most people assume robots operate almost the same way as smartphones do. But he puts an end to this idea immediately, saying that while robotics and smartphones are probably cut from the same cloth as far as raw technology is concerned, smartphones give the users a chance to use it, or let it rest. Robots, however, will have to be turned on and monitoring all the time.

Additionally, robots also need more than clicking in terms of commands because they have to either be talked to or controlled from an external controller.

Next, Casner talked about the importance of picking the right operating system to run the robots. After which he gave a rundown of pros and cons of already pre-existing OS: Android OS are only successful in smartphones, Android Things was “too much overhead and not enough payoff, Brillo had too huge a learning curve, and Firefox OS, SilkOS, and Chromium OS “lacked support.”

In the end, they went with the Linus OS with some C/C++-based user space.