Predict your next investment

INDUSTRIAL | Machinery & Equipment / Robotics
anki.com

See what CB Insights has to offer

Founded Year

2010

Stage

Asset Sale | AssetsPurchased

Total Raised

$205.26M

About Anki

Anki is harnessing robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to bring to life consumer products with intellect and interactive capabilities.

Anki Headquarter Location

55 2nd Street 15th Floor

San Francisco, California, 94105,

United States

214-450-3701

Latest Anki News

11 Pet Replacements for the Lonely People In Your Life

Nov 17, 2021

From Tamagotchi to cuddly robot dogs, there's an animal out there for everyone to love. By Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo ‘Tis the season for being reminded of how utterly alone we are. Why not fill that gaping hole with a digital pet? Whether it’s a keychain device with a virtual character to take care of or a stuffed animal that mews and purrs like a cat, you’d be surprised at the amount of comfort either of those can bring a person on their darkest of daylight saving days. I speak from experience as Gizmodo’s resident virtual pet expert, a title that I just gave myself and hope my editor will accept. (Ed. note: Accepted. -CM) While a virtual/digital pet isn’t a complete replacement for a warm-blooded animal, it’s much easier to clean up after. And in many cases, you can take out the battery when life gets too busy to care for them. Here are some picks for the best virtual pets available to buy, provided you have the emotional bandwidth to care for them. We’ve included everything from the many Tamagotchi (many, many Tamagotchi), along with a lifelike stuffed pet you can buy at the drugstore to help ease your fears of sleeping alone. Advertisement Get a purring and cuddling feline without all the litter scattered around the house. Image: Joy For All I was first introduced to Hasbro’s Joy For All stuffed animal companions through the “elderly care” section at my local drugstore. I was looking for an electric heating pad, but then I stumbled upon this and was almost tempted to bring one home to try it out. The box was compelling. I fell for the Joy For All tabby cat, but there are dog variants, too. You can brush, pet, and cuddle the stuffed animal to your heart’s content. When you’re not interacting with it, it sleeps. Both dogs and cats have realistic fur, and each animal responds depending on where you touch it. For instance, if you opt for the cat, it will lean in toward your hand when you start to pet its cheek, the way a real cat would. If you keep petting it, it will eventually roll itself on its back and ask you to pet its belly—the same way an actual feline would indicate that they’ve grown to trust you fully. The Joy For All companion pets start at around $130, depending on the retailer. Each of the pets takes four 1.5V C Alkaline batteries to power up, so make sure to grab a bundle of these hard-to-buy batteries for the lucky recipient of this gift. Advertisement Tombot Puppy Screenshot: Tombot / YouTube Need a virtual pet that gets a little more interactive than simply purring and whirring? A company called Tombot launched a companion dog that behaves and responds like a real one. Its name is Puppy, and it wags its tail, opens and closes its mouth, and turns its head as if it can’t believe what you just said. Tombot even worked with folks from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop to help make the company’s robo-dog more affable. If you’ve ever squeed over a muppet’s cute mannerisms, Tombot might be your thing. The Tombot Puppy doesn’t come cheap, though. It usually costs $500 to reserve, though the company has discounted it to $450 for new folks who want to get on the waitlist. Advertisement Sony Aibo ERS-1000 Photo: Alex Cranz / Gizmodo There is too much to say about Aibo, Sony’s robot dog. The name stands for Artificial Intelligence Robot, and because of its learn-as-it-goes programming, it is one of the most realistic virtual pets out there. Aibo has managed to capture many hearts since its debut in 1999, spanning generations. If you’re unfamiliar with Aibo, check out this New York Times short documentary on the original Aibo’s devoted following . In 2018, Sony released the fifth-generation Aibo , which is the model you can buy now. It costs a whopping $2,900 , and that’s because it’s crammed with cameras and sensors. Just Aibo’s head contains an image-recognition camera in its nose, a time-of-flight sensor in its mouth to measure the proximity of nearby objects, and touch sensors around its forehead to detect when you’re petting it. It also stores its memories in Sony’s cloud-powered AI engine, which helps inspire its expressive face. And when it needs to charge, it’ll walk itself over to its charging station, just like a robot vacuum. The only downside to adopting this pet—besides its massive price tag—is that it’s not geared for use outside, nor does it jump. If you’re planning to give this to a tinkerer, you might also inspire them with Aibo’s developer portal, which offers a web-based API that allows you to program the robot dog to do things like grabbing a piece of tissue when you sneeze. Advertisement Photo: Andrew Liszewski / Gizmodo How about a virtual pet that’s also a robot that can take commands? Anki’s follow-up bot to the Cozmo desk toy is the Vector , a literal robot on wheels that follows you around like a robot vacuum with a plan. It runs on a Snapdragon processor and has a 120-degree HD camera to look around, plus a handful of microphones to hear you, an infrared laser scanner to map the room, and a six-axis inertial measurement unit to navigate the perilous world we brought it into. The Vector is capable of doing a few things. It’s charming and expressive, but it also relies on you to command it, akin to a smart display. You can say, “Hey Vector” to snap photos, set a timer, and check the weather forecast. It can also fist bump you and play a round of blackjack. Or you can have Vector dance along to some tunes. Anki shut down since launching this robot, but Digital Dream Labs took over shortly after. It’s since introduced the Vector Escape Pod , which lets the Vector robot function independently of the cloud service the robot uses so that you still get voice commands without the internet. Tinkerers might also love the idea of programming a Raspberry Pi to host the Vector on a home server. The Vector was $250 when it launched in 2018. But now you’ll find listings where it starts around $600 . There is a waitlist for the next potential batch release, but preorders are closed for the so-called Vector 2.0. The Escape Pod and other open-source development kits range between $97 and $197. Advertisement Hungry Bunny The Hungry Bunny will alert you when it needs to express its paper waste. Is this a glorified paper shredder? Screenshot: Zoomer I found this toy while looking up affordable alternatives to Sony’s Aibo. Zoomer is a brand from Spinmaster that makes the $100 Playful Pup , which barks and rolls around the floor like Aibo. But it’s the $30-$40 Hungry Bunny that eats and poops paper food that caught my eye instead. The Hungry Bunnies are adorable, yet ridiculous. Like real rabbits, they just lay around and eat what you put into their mouths. You can “make” food for the bunny by using the included stencil to draw and cut out your own creations. The varying types of food include—what else?—paper carrots, paper popsicles, and paper ice cream. After the bunny eats, listen for the “magical” sound of the plastic toy defecating the paper it just shredded to bits with its tiny teeth. It’s the circle of life! Advertisement Image: Takara Tomy Takara Tomy, the Japanese toymaker behind famous franchises such as the original Transformers, offers the perfect toy for those hoping to gift something a little more human-like to interact with. The cartoony Ami-chan isn’t quite lifelike in its looks or its movements, but it does talk. Ami-chan has a vocabulary of around 1,600 Japanese words. And it learns as it goes, because how else would it learn the name of the gift recipient? Ami-chan can also sing 40 different songs and nursery rhymes, and even offers a bit of interactive brain training through tongue twisters. However, this kind of interaction isn’t cheap: Ami-chan will set you back about $250 plus shipping from Japan. And it requires four C-size alkaline batteries to function—again, please bundle your gifts with batteries this year so that I can stop nagging you to do the right thing. Advertisement Boston Dynamics Spot See Spot jump. It’s so uncanny, you’ll be glad it’s not so easy to buy. Screenshot: Boston Dynamics / YouTube I couldn’t do a guide on robotic pets without including Boston Dynamics’ robotic monstrosity . Spot is more than a mere pet, however. It could be easily construed as artillery, which is why it’s still not technically available to just anyone. If it’s companionship you want, that’s what Sony’s Aibo is for. The Spot Explorer Development kit remains geared toward the industrial sector and will cost you upwards of $74,500 if you want one, though you can buy them in bulk if you’re adopting them as gifts for your business...? Advertisement Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo The Tamagotchi Pix is still a worthy pick, even if it eats through AA batteries (always bundle your gifts with batteries!). At $60, it’s pricier than the original Tamagotchi, but it’s also way more involved. It has a camera for snapping pics with your Tama in tow, and since its launch, Bandai added missions at its site that you can unlock with its built-in QR code scanner. The only bummer to this virtual companion is that you can’t transfer any of the photos after the fact. But there is a thriving community of Tamagotchi enthusiasts concurrently playing the game who post QR codes online. If you’ve got a friend into that kind of gameplay, the Tamagotchi Pix can make for a fun distraction from the everyday doldrums. Advertisement Image: Bandai The $20 Star Wars R2-D2 Tamagotchi is one of the first not to feature characters from the original virtual pet game. Unlike some of its other collaborations, this tiny electronic keychain is tailor-made for the diehard Star Wars fan. In addition to tasking you with the job of caring for Artoo, it has cameos from notable characters including Chewbacca, General Grievous, and Boba Fett. You can train Artoo to learn 19 different skills, and there are nine mini-games in total to play. But if you neglect him for too long, the Jawas will take him away for scrap. It’s all as cute and fan service-y as it sounds. There are several sizes of Tamagotchi. The R2-D2 one falls within the “nano” size, which means it’s tiny, and the screen is only slightly bigger than a dime. It uses Tamagotchi’s signature three-button system and takes LR44 batteries. (Again, I urge you to provide your gift recipient with extra batteries.) Advertisement Digimon Original Digimon comes in all sorts of colors and patterns, but the core gameplay remains the same across the board. Image: Bandai I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Digimon , which is a franchise also owned by Bandai, as part of this pet gift guide. Digimon has been around as long as the original Tamagotchi. Back in the day, folks pegged it as the “boy” version of Bandai’s virtual pet, but the good news is that Bandai appears to have evolved with the times and the company has re-launched the original in all sorts of colors and patterns. If you’re into games like Pokémon, which came into the world around the same time as this franchise, a $20 Digimon might be it for you. Like Tamagotchi, your task is to raise your Digimon so that they might be strong enough to compete against others. Be sure to get two of these if you’re buying one for a friend. Advertisement

Predict your next investment

The CB Insights tech market intelligence platform analyzes millions of data points on venture capital, startups, patents , partnerships and news mentions to help you see tomorrow's opportunities, today.

Research containing Anki

Get data-driven expert analysis from the CB Insights Intelligence Unit.

CB Insights Intelligence Analysts have mentioned Anki in 4 CB Insights research briefs, most recently on Oct 4, 2021.

Expert Collections containing Anki

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

Anki is included in 3 Expert Collections, including Robotics.

R

Robotics

1,657 items

This collection includes startups developing autonomous ground robots, unmanned aerial vehicles, robotic arms, and underwater drones, among other robotic systems. This collection also includes companies developing operating systems and vision modules for robots.

A

AI 100 2018

99 items

I

Internet of Things ( IoT )

3,149 items

Anki Patents

Anki has filed 48 patents.

The 3 most popular patent topics include:

  • Honeycombs (geometry)
  • Physical oceanography
  • Technical drawing
patents chart

Application Date

Grant Date

Title

Related Topics

Status

3/16/2018

6/8/2021

Desks, Artificial intelligence, Wireless networking, Diagrams, Distributed computing architecture

Grant

00/00/0000

00/00/0000

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

00/00/0000

00/00/0000

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

00/00/0000

00/00/0000

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

00/00/0000

00/00/0000

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Application Date

3/16/2018

00/00/0000

00/00/0000

00/00/0000

00/00/0000

Grant Date

6/8/2021

00/00/0000

00/00/0000

00/00/0000

00/00/0000

Title

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Related Topics

Desks, Artificial intelligence, Wireless networking, Diagrams, Distributed computing architecture

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Status

Grant

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

CB Insights uses Cookies

CBI websites generally use certain cookies to enable better interactions with our sites and services. Use of these cookies, which may be stored on your device, permits us to improve and customize your experience. You can read more about your cookie choices at our privacy policy here. By continuing to use this site you are consenting to these choices.