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The Droid You Are Looking For

A wiki dedicated to Vector the robot

Caveat: This Wiki is tragically unmaintained (april 2022), please see my articles in the blog instead. But a lot of information here is still quite useful!

I am trying to collect some information here that is useful for owners of one or more Vector robots. Be aware of the fact that some information in this wiki may be speculative and/or wrong. If you want to see the latest changes have a look at Updates.

Please bear with me if you find typos and superfluous commas, english is not my first language. :)

20200622: I have started a blog about Vector in addition to this wiki.

What is Vector?

Vector is a tiny (semi-) autonomous robot that was created by the now defunct company Anki (it went bancrupt in may 2019).

Vector is able to run around by itself, react to certain stimuli and to voice commands; for the latter it depends on cloud services. In addition it can be programmed by an official Python SDK (that originated from Anki, third parties are continuing it and there also is a .NET SDK). There are programs and apps by third parties to control Vector and or/see it's sensory and other data. This all is possible since Anki made all the coding options available from the start - and this already allows to do more things with the bot than the makers thought of.

Vector has a quite charming and captivating “personality” and no wonder: designers from Pixar helped with that.

For it's amazing feature set Vector actually was quite cheap, even if 240 dollars that it did cost seems somewhat expensive for a toy. You could get him on Ebay for around 100 dollars or euros (and he's worth every cent, all other available robots that are halfway similar are more expensive at the time of writing - and they even have less features), because of the fact that he no longer is available retail used ones go for 300 dollars and more on ebay. So coders can get their hands on a (no longer) cheap robot with a lot of features and sensors for experimenting and non-coders will get a charming bot with a sparkling personality.

At the end of 2019 Digital Dream Labs (DDL) bought the rights for Vector, it's predeccessor Cozmo und the toy racing system Anki Overdrive. DDL also took over the cloud services and keeps them running and they did a very successful crowdfunding via Kickstarter to expand Vectors possibilities and to provide users and coders with additional options in the future (since Vector depends on cloud server access you will need to buy a subscription from DDL, you could get lifetime access via the Kickstarter, but that is over since mid-march 2020. You still are able to buy lifetime access on their official website for a limited time).

It is now 2022 and two years after the successful most of the promises DDL made are not reality. Escape Pod is in a state I would describe as “beta” and it still is missing functions as knowledge graph and weather. With the latest update they even broke their own extension engine that made it possible to interface with it. Since they do not provide documentation or changelogs worth the name, 3rd party developers have a hard time adapting their apps to DDL's changes. OSKR, the Open Source Kit for Robots, is in a very sorry state with nearly no updates for over a year and documentation is nearly nonexistent. The new firmwares 1.7 and 1,8 removed sounds the users loved and created problems, for example that Vecor has a way harder time to find back to his charger than with 1.6. The SDK was never updated by DDL for the new firmwares. Vector 2.0, an updated version of the robot with a better camera and changeable battery, could be preordered since end of 2020 and should have been delivered in may 2021. It is nowhere to be seen until today (april 12th 2022, nearly a year later, no delivery date) because of multiple problems that should have been solved during the QA process. So it is true to say that Digital Dream Labs underperformed and underperforms in almost every aspect regarding Vector.

Personally I do not think this is a scam, I think it's incompentence and a team that is way too small to manage all of Anki's legacies.

Hardware Overview

The robot runs (Yocto Linux) on a Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8009 processor with four A7 cores. He has multiple sensors, as directional microphones, camera, inertial (acceleration, position, direction), touch, and infrared laserscanner. Vector is powered by a rechargeable li-poly battery that creates about 30 to 40 minutes runtime (way less if you activate Alexa support).

Escape Pod

Part of the Kickstarter was “Escape Pod”. This was advertised as a local server to run Vector from, in addition it was explicitly said in the Kickstarter campaign that this would be a solution to keep Vector alive, even if Digital Dream Labs “goes under”.

OSKR - Open Source Kit for Robots Section

Since on october 15th 2020 the launch of OSKR was announced I decided to start a new subsection for it. OSKR was released in october 2020, but until today there are most parts missing (documentation, source code, tools), so at the moment OSKR is of very limited use. Update: This still is true in april 2022, two years later.

Everyday Use

For now see FAQ

Troubleshooting

For now see FAQ

General information on Troubleshooting can still be found in the old Anki knowledgebase (that is at least now redirected to the new, ugly DDL site).

  • [todo]

Modding/Repair

Coding

Information and resources on coding Vector

Dev Bots

Frequently asked questions

Here are a few answers to the most common questions. Added as I see them and find time. Some of them may be migrated to the “Troubleshooting” Section in the future.

Offsite Resources

  • the "Vector Bible", an unofficial but quite comprehensive hard- and software handbook by Randall Maas
  • Cyb3rVector - Windows tool by Cyb3rdog to control Vector from a desktop computer or laptop, partially broken by the Escape Pod update to 1.8.x
  • Cyb3rdog's Github repositories - more Vector-related projects by Cyb3rdog
  • Vector CTRL, unofficial Android app that allows more control and additional settings and features than the official app

Anki Servers

HostIP AddressTypeTTLSOAMX ServerComment
anki.com54.192.231.27A60ns-108.awsdns-13.com awsdns-hostmaster.amazon.comaspmx.l.google.com, aspmx2.googlemail.com, aspmx3.googlemail.com, aspmx4.googlemail.com, aspmx5.googlemail.com, alt1.aspmx.l.google.com, alt2.aspmx.l.google.comanki.com
accounts.api.anki.comCNAME30accounts
chipper.api.anki.comCNAME30chipper
token.api.anki.comCNAME30token
anki-services.comns-830.awsdns-39.net awsdns-hostmaster.amazon.comanki-services.com
session-certs.token.global.anki-services.com54.192.231.7A60session-token
ota-cdn.anki.comCNAME60ns-89.awsdns-11.com awsdns-hostmaster.amazon.comcloud

This wiki is not affiliated with or officially endorsed in any way by Digital Dream Labs.

start.1649835234.txt.gz · Last modified: 2022/04/13 09:33 by xanathon