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Anki, maker of Vector, Cozmo and other toy robots, is shutting down

Anki has been one of the leading companies in this new age of smartphone-connected toys, alongside Sphero. Sadly, Anki has run out of money and is shutting its doors.

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Anki's friendly Vector robot is getting Alexa support December 17

Anki's Vector robot launched in October. The little guy is certainly cute, and it's always had a useful trick or two; it can tell you the temperature outside or set timers, for example. But starting next week in the US and Canada, Vector is getting a whole lot more practical with the addition of Alexa functionality.

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[Update: Now $80] Anki Overdrive is $86 ($64 off) on Amazon, Fast & Furious Edition is $93 ($76 off)

Anki's 'Overdrive' is a lineup of smartphone-controlled racing cars that can drive on a customizable track. We reviewed the Fast & Furious Edition last year, and it offered plenty of fun for the original price of $170. Now you can get the Fast & Furious version for far less than that, and the non-themed version is also on sale.

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Anki's Cozmo, Vector, and Overdrive toy robots are 30-43% off for today only

Anki has made several smartphone-controlled toy robots over the past few years, including the adorable 'Cozmo' and the 'Overdrive' race car set. For today only, you can get select Anki robots for 30-43% off from Amazon — including Cozmo, Vector, and Overdrive.

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Anki's adorable new toy robot Vector is available for pre-order now

In late 2016, San Francisco-based robotics company Anki released Cozmo, a robotic toy brimming with personality. The little guy looked like something out of Wall-E, with its curious animation and expressive digital eyes. Now, Anki's back at it with a new tiny robot named Vector that clearly shares Cozmo's DNA, but promises more functionality.

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[Deal Alert] Anki's Cozmo and Overdrive are down $50-55 on Amazon (about 30% off)

Did you forget to buy a gift for that one relative's kid? Think, think again. Did you gamble on a different toy that may never get delivered in time for Christmas or did you purchase another gift only to realize that it isn't exactly what it said it would be or what the child wanted? Or maybe did you forget to gift yourself something fun for the holidays? There's still time to save Christmas and save some bucks in one go.

Three of Anki's products are discounted on Amazon by $50 to $55, practically making them a third-off compared to the MSRP.

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Anki Cozmo app update expands programming functionality

Back in September, Anki released a special Collectors Edition of its Cozmo toy robot, alongside a major app update for both the original and new models. One of its Cozmo's many features is the ability to program basic tasks through the mobile app. While a full Python-based SDK is available for those wanting to use real programming languages, the drag-and-drop Code Lab had most of the essentials.

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Anki OVERDRIVE: Fast & Furious Edition review: Just as good as the original, but with 100% more Vin Diesel

Anki is one of the biggest names in electronic toys right now, and for good reason; it's one of the few companies that has brought robotics to kids. This all started with its 2014 introduction of "Anki Drive," a more modern take on slot car racing that added weapons and artificial intelligence. "OVERDRIVE" was released in 2015 as a successor to Drive, and proved to be a market success. After all, it's the first Anki product I'd ever heard of.

Now, Anki has released a Fast & Furious edition of OVERDRIVE, which throws Dom Toretto's crew and cars into the mix.

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Cozmo Collector's Edition review: Still adorable, still fun

When I was young, I absolutely loved toy robots. I remember having a particular fascination for toys from WowWee, like the 'Robosapien' and the 'Roboraptor.' I managed to convince my parents one year to get the Roboraptor for my birthday, which I still own to this day. It was pretty basic by today's standards (the most advanced part of it was the IR sensor), but it was awesome at the time.

A few years later, I got my hands on the second-generation LEGO Mindstorms NXT. It was a robotics kit with pieces like IR sensors and motors, but it used LEGO's standard 'Technic' pieces.

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[Deal Alert] Anki Overdrive Starter Kit is down to $99.99 on Amazon ($50 off)

The definition of a toy nowadays is a lot more complicated and advanced than when I was still a kid. A small toy car, a plush bear, heck even a new eraser or pencil sharpener counted. Now, toys have to use batteries, be smart, connect to your phone in some form or another, and be expandable to suck you further in their franchise.

But as far as these kinds of toys go, Anki's Overdrive is kinda cool. It's a racing track with the obvious phone connection, where you can upgrade your cars and their capabilities, build the track as you want with the different elements, and even expand on it with more cars, track parts, and players. The kit includes 2 cars, 6 curved and 4 straight track pieces, 2 riser pieces, 1 charging system, and 1 tire cleaner.

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