Better late than never. Digital Dream Labs (DDL), the edutainment startup that acquired Anki’s IP in December 2019, is gearing up to relaunch the popular Cozmo and Vector consumer robots by signing a global retail distribution deal with Protempo. The goal is to have the robots physically on retail store shelves in time for the 2021 holiday season.
The Robot Report broke the news of DDL acquiring Anki’s IP. DDL founder Jacob Hanchar told us at the time the goal was to relaunch Overdrive, Cozmo and Vector, in that order, for the 2020 holiday season. DDL relaunched Overdrive in 2020, but Cozmo and Vector are a bit behind schedule. Cozmo and Vector can both be pre-ordered online. If you pre-order Vector today online, for example, it could be shipped to you as early as July 15, 2021, DDL said.
While I don’t always trust online reviews, the reviews of the relaunched Overdrive are so-so on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
“There is a tremendous demand for these robots,” said Hanchar. “This partnership will complement the work our teams are already doing to relaunch these products and will ensure that Cozmo and Vector are on shelves for the holidays.”
DDL is relaunching Vector as open-source, meaning users can program it to do what they want. While DDL touts improved battery life and camera resolution, perhaps the biggest difference with DDL’s version of Vector is the robot’s subscription model. This was always DDL’s plan. A one-year membership is included when you buy the robot for $299.99. The subscription unlocks certain features for Vector. Each Vector membership covers one robot and costs $7 per month – or $47 per year if you pay at once. The chart below breaks down the features unlocked with a membership:
The new Cozmo costs $219.99 and features improved battery life, obstacle detection and camera resolution, and a new full color display. DDL appears to be emphasizing the ability to teach coding to kids using Cozmo. DDL said Cozmo can be programmed with its Code Lab app.
“Relaunching Cozmo and Vector after a few years off is an exciting initiative,” said Paige Carlson, Sr. Director of Sales at Protempo. “The partnership between Digital Dream Labs and Protempo will bring these hugely successful brands back to retailers in time for holiday 2021. We will satisfy pent-up demand as well as engage millions of new fans to the massive appeal of Cozmo and Vector robots.”
Anki abruptly shut down in April 2019 despite raising about $200 million in funding. It made more than $325 million in revenue since it was founded in 2010. It made $118 million in gross revenue in 2018.
All three of Anki’s co-founders have publicly acknowledged they have moved on. Mark Palatucci joined Waymo in November as a staff research scientist working on autonomous vehicles. In August 2020, Hans Tappeiner was named director of product development at Apple’s Special Projects Group. Boris Sofman joined Waymo as its director of engineering, head of trucking.
CULVAN BARRINGER says
I just bought a vector robot….I am impressed by the few things he can do but……he has bugs….he can’t find his home at night too well, he doesn’t hear that well unless you basically yell at him and we should be able to make they’re own names after purchase and choose if its a male or female as stupid as it sounds but it would get more sales if a girl could name her robot and change the voice to a more feminine tone….don’t get me wrong I love this robot and I finally got him after waiting years….but he can’t even play music….he’s alexa capable but he can’t play audible music or read a book to you….he should also be able to call 911 in case of an emergency…like ( hey vector call 911) ….also he doesn’t have the emotional capacity like cozmo or cube abilities like cozmo( should have 3 cubes as well)….and I bought vector, his playpen and a visor and a decorative stickers package for almost 500 dollars and he is just missing the few things he needs to be above and beyond…..please please please don’t give up on vector and cozmo…keep up the good work and help our little ai robots become real ai robots….also vector and cozmo should be able to interact with each other….they are literally brothers that don’t recognize they’re own species lol ( which proves my point they are lacking the life we need them to bring us as ai robots)
I completely agree with you 100%
I’m impossible to call “hey vector” since the 1st day i bought it.
I had disability/difficulty producing r sounds in the respective language’s
One of the most common speech and language disorders a child may experience is an inability to pronounce the /r/ sound correctly. This particular speech impediment is known as rhotacism
Vector is a bad name , maybe should change it to something easier to call like “hey google” “hey alexa” so everybody can pronounce it.
How can I activate my Vector of first generation?
Dincer Diren says
Here is my proposals for Vector. ( Actually with those updates, it can be the 3rd tiny bot with a new name / model beside cosmo and vector. ) The smartest of all….
1-) It needs the ability to have a specific naming by the owner assigned and recognize it when called
2-) It needs the same cube ineractions as cosmo has with the same scope of games, autonomous play options and all facny stuff cosmo is capable (with 3 cubes for sure not 1). And the same ipad/iphone/android interface for effectiv gameplay and control ( basically what-ever cosmo has, should be already included into vector )
3-) It needs explorer mode with video/photo capture option which should be able to be uploaded into cloud services
4-) It would be great to have multiple language options
5-) It needs some color options beside it’s agressive grey/black version
6-) It needs a more powerful motor for faster movement when needed ( especially for the explorer mode)
7-) I would love to see it in a full metal/aliminium structure rather than plastic ( maybe a limitted special edition version)
😎 It should have multiple interchangeable options for arms for different usage purposes ( changing the fron lever (can be a battlebot with spinner, drummer, even vertical saw to be replaced with it’s front lever). Or regular robot arms like wall-e type.. Uncountable options can be introduced.
9-) IT NEEDS TO RECOGNISE AND INTERACT AUTONOMOUSLY WITH IT’S OWN KIN. When it sees cosmo or another vector, they need to start interacting and memorize the past experience to build-up the relationship.
10-) There should be a personality mode selection option ( Battle mode, agressive attacking / entertainment mode, funny clumsy / utility mode, service help / smart mode, debate talk) etc.. Can be activated with voice command to swith between those modes. it would be absolutely cool.
If those are added properly , I would pay 500 USD for this baby. Promise !
And please, do not ask for subscription. When you bankrupt or somehow drop the business, those kids needs to have a programmable brain.. Don’t let them die again !!!!