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Electronics & Test

Teardown: Inside the Anki Drive System

iFixit.com
10/30/2013  
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stanry77
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Iron
Re: Big brains for a little car
stanry77   2/23/2015 3:11:32 AM
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Anki team has think out of the box to create such brilliant game. Virtual + reality. Really brilliant on that part. Yes, I agree having a car racing game is an AI but isn't all racing car games an AI too? To have the Anki car goes according to what the phone request to do, there has to be a map for the reality and the virtual, both gotta be the same scale and distance, that is what Anki did. In a virtual car games like Mario Kart it is just purely virtual games. In the virtual games, there must be an algorithm or AI to instruct all the other Cars to go left, right, shooting and car crashing when hit any obstacle. For Anki, the phone or the tablet does all the processing where the cars should move of cars, the proximity of each cars where the car in front of u will slow u down. With the Anki cars continuoaly sending road map location back to phone/tablet for processing. The phone/tablet send instructions to the car to where to go, to turn left/right, faster and slower that mimic the virtual map location to the reality map. What appears in the virtual game will be the same as the reality. In virtual game you shoot a car in front of you, smartphone/tablet will send instructions to Anki car for execution. To a layman, it seems like the car has a mind of its own and runs by itself, not the processing of the smartphone/tablet. In fact, the car mimic what happen in the virtual racing game on the smartphone/tablet. Summary, about the game itself nothing fantastic as all Gameloft racing car games are far more complicated track far more AI. But what Anki team has done was, they think out of the box and created a virtual +reality game which is impressive which nobody has ever done before.

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Slot cars without the slots
Cabe Atwell   5/6/2014 10:00:48 PM
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I was thinking the same thing bdcst, would they become more precise going into turns with higher resolutions?

bdcst
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Slot cars without the slots
bdcst   10/31/2013 1:24:46 PM
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Well, how much intelligence do you want in what isn't much more than a self propelled wireless optical mouse!  Very clever!!

Stuart21
User Rank
Gold
Re: So it skid-steers?
Stuart21   10/31/2013 12:41:10 PM
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"I wonder if it wouldn't be a racing advantage to have the rear wheels clean, but the front ones dirty?"

Actually probably would steer better with a sprung teflon button at the front - whatever you do, don't let the front wheels touch the ground!

(Or actually two sprung buttons - 'Sprung buttons that were formerly called wheels')

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Slot cars without the slots
William K.   10/31/2013 10:07:01 AM
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More processing in the car would both inhibit development and increase battery drain, and probably reduce performance as well. It looks like they have the mix down quite well right now.

And I think how much advanced this thing is over those slotcars, except that they had way more power.

Differential drive steering requires feedback from some source, so they had to put tracks on the pad. But that also leaves the path clear for a lot more sophisticated programming as far as paths go, and also allows a means of avoiding collisions. Those kids who like to smash and crash toys like this fuly deserve to be frustrated and to have the toys totally destruct on the first intentional crash. And since it is constantly detecting it's position, it should be able to shut down if it runs off the pad, which is good for not getting lost.

Probably any change to the front wheels friction would alter the handling a bit. My guess is that those front wheels slide easily but also roll easily.

Ken E.
User Rank
Gold
So it skid-steers?
Ken E.   10/31/2013 9:04:15 AM
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Interesting, clever steering, and that would explain the apparent unequal front to rear weight ratio I sensed and wondered about right away.  I wonder if it wouldn't be a racing advantage to have the rear wheels clean, but the front ones dirty?

I wonder how it will handle crashes.  What kid doesn't want to crash at the highest speed possible, over and over?!  Or make this a demo derby or push-off-the-mat race? 

Wondering too why it needs position speed data from the mat.  Will it run when off the mat?

Just a bit of info about the app that runs this would have been nice.

Stuart21
User Rank
Gold
Re: Slot cars without the slots
Stuart21   10/31/2013 9:03:47 AM
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"With its motors hanging way out back of the rear axle, this little Ankimobile definitely hails from the controversial Porsche 911 school of car design."

Hence the snappy 'steeringless' steering.

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Slot cars without the slots
naperlou   10/30/2013 11:46:14 AM
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This is great.  I still think they could have done more processing on the car, but that's just me.  We used to have slot cars of various sizes.  Customization was always fun.  We would put more powerful motors, better, wider, stickier tires, etc.  I expect you could do a lot with these as well.  I like that they use light to help control the cars. 

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Big brains for a little car
Rob Spiegel   10/30/2013 10:06:47 AM
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Amazing teardown. That's a lot of brains for a tiny car. I'd love to give that car a spin. Always liked playing race cars with my kids. I'd love to do it with these super cars.

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