The currently-available Anki Drive series of toys are undeniably cool, allowing players to drive tiny remote controlled cars along real tracks with their smartphones while the app keeps track of video game-inspired additions like weapons and power-ups. The next iteration of the toy, Anki Overdrive, is set to take things to the next level when it debuts this fall. The most visible addition is the new piece-by-piece track system, including risers for overpasses and jumps, walls for faster banks, and a modular design that allows for near-infinite expansion.
You may remember Anki as the company that took the stage at Apple's iOS 7 announcement in 2013 only to have its demo bogged down with bugs. Since then, the product has done quite well on iOS and it came to Android a few months ago. At $150 for the starter kit, it's a lot to pay for AI-controlled race cars. Anki Drive seeks to bring basic artificial intelligence into the real world, making for a unique gaming experience.
Update: We've checked out the Play Store page on various AP writers' accounts, and apparently the game is now marked as incompatible with everything, including the hardware listed in the description. At this point I'm guessing that the Android app was published prematurely, and this will change on the multi-platform release date for Trap Team, which is October 5th in the United States.
There have been three Skylanders-branded games published on the Play Store so far, Battlegrounds, Cloud Patrol, and Lost Islands.
It's that time again, obsessive collectors: time to fight the masses for a tiny hunk of vinyl and cuteness. Chinese New Year is coming up on Friday, and to celebrate the creators of the ever-popular Android figurines are releasing yet another special edition toy. This time it's dedicated to the Year of the Horse, with a red paint job inspired by the Zodiac figure.
Dead Zebra tends to get swamped when new special editions are being sold, so they're releasing them in two batches: one at 11 AM Eastern Time (right as this story is published) and another batch at 11 PM.
Parrot's AR.Drone has changed only slightly in its short history, but today the company has expanded the line in a big way. They're showing off two new models at the pre-CES Unveiled event: the smaller and impressively flexible AR.Drone Mini and the ground-only roller/jumper Sumo. To see what makes each version special, check out the promotional video below.
The Mini is indeed a smaller take on Parrot's popular AR - the housing itself fits in the palm of your hand.
When it comes to toys you can control from your smartphone, few are quite as fun or inspiring as Sphero. Orbotix blew onto the scene a little over a year ago with an awesome choreographed display in Union Square. The company followed up on the original with an upgraded v2.0 of the robotic ball which began shipping in September, but that wasn't to be the end of the line. Orbotix is at it again with a completely redesigned robot, dubbed Sphero 2B.
Do you wish to display your love of Google-branded operating systems to your friends and loved ones, but find Hallmark's selection of nerdy ornaments unaccountably lacking? Then Dead Zebra has your back. They're selling a modified special edition of the ever-shifting Android figurine that's been modified into a Christmas tree ornament. You can pick up one of these shiny fellows in red or blue for $10.
There's a limit of two single ornaments for each order, but if you need enough to make your tree positively spangled with tiny toy robots, there's also a "Tree Pack." It includes five red and five blue ornaments for $90, a 10% saving.
Get those browsers warmed up, collectors: the fourth series of Dead Zebra's increasingly zany selection of Android figures is now on sale. You can pick up the new toys from the Dead Zebra web store, and hurry, since they tend to run out of initial stock in less than one day. There are 14 new figures, including ninjas, fishermen, a gold-plated Bugdroid, and more.
Individual blind boxes are $8.50, and cases of 16 cost $132.
Take a gander around the more general tech blogs and you might spot the PowerUp 3.0. It's a recently-funded Kickstarter campaign for a gadget that adds powered flight and remote control to a paper airplane. It's not much more than some gears, a rudder, and a Bluetooth control module, but the simplicity is appealing enough that it reached its $50,000 funding goal in less than eight hours. Now the campaign has passed $150,000, the stretch funding goal for the creation of an Android app in addition to iOS.
When I was a kid, "robot" meant something that you had to wind up (or if you were rich, something you plugged into your Nintendo Entertainment System). Startup company Play-I wants to change that with Bo and Yana, a pair of toy robots that use a tablet or smartphone as both a controller and a programming tool. The company's crowdfunding campaign started yesterday and has already hit almost 80% of its quarter-million dollar goal.