Anki Vector SDK lets you get under the skin of cute home robot

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Anki Vector, the cute toy robot from the team behind Anki Cozmo and Anki Overdrive, is getting an ace new feature that'll allow owners to dig even deeper into how their autonomous friend works.

Anki has today announced the release of the Anki Vector software development kit (SDK) alpha, which will allow owners to make use of the Python programming language to teach Vector new tricks.

Anki Vector

"We’ve always strived to make sophisticated—and importantly, relevant—robotics and AI technologies accessible to the masses," reads a message on the team's blog.

"We do this partly through the innovative experiences our multidisciplinary team spends endless days and nights crafting. But we also believe it’s important to open up our technologies so developers, researchers, and educators like you can employ them in your own work."

More tools, more tricks

The SDK will allow those willing to tinker behind the scenes with their toy to have direct access over Vector's:

  • HD color camera stream
  • Infrared laser scanner
  • Face and emotion recognition
  • High-res color IPS screen
  • Capacitive touch sensor
  • Four drop sensors
  • Hundreds of unique animations
  • Six-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU)
  • Custom vision markers

...as well as a real-time 3D viewer that lets you see the world exactly as Vector does. There's also now the option to take direct remote control over Vector, controlling not only its movements, but the animations that make the robot come to life, too.

Anki Vector and Anki Cozmo are among the most advanced toy robots we've seen at TechRadar, appearing to have true personality thanks to their smart recognition features and array of reactive animations triggered by their sensors.

As an alpha release, the SDK will evolve over time, but for those willing to get in early on the action, there's plenty of additional instructions available at the Anki blog.