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Anki, Maker of Adorable Robots That Don't Do All That Much, Abruptly Shuts Down



Anki Inc. CEO Boris Sofman holding a Vector robot in July 2018.
Photo: Ted Shaffrey (AP)

Robotics company Anki, the manufacturer of an adorable line of tiny home robots like Cozmo and its bigger brother, the $ 250 Vector, has According to Recode, CEO Boris Sofman, they would lose their jobs on Wednesday — and that nearly 200 employees would be given one week's severance — after earlier informing them of a critical round. of financing had fallen through. Recode wrote that the company said in a statement it had been left without the necessary funding to maintain its existing business or achieve future goals:

and software business and bridge to our long-term product roadmap. ”

“A significant financial deal at a late stage fell through with a strategic investor and we were not able to reach an agreement. We're doing our best to take care of every single employee and their families, and our management team continues to explore all options available. ”

And recently added key features like Vector integration. Sofman has also said its ambitions were never limited to entertainment or toys and that the company wanted to be a major player in robotics and artificial intelligence.

But it's possible to overstate how much of a surprise this is – at the end of the day, Anki's current lineup of robots essentially made up of cute toys that replicated smart-home functions already done just as well by stationary smart speakers. Its other selling points are like the strongest argument for the viability of the business when other consumer robotics companies left and right in 2018. As Wired argues, the strongest commercial argument for robots Things like the Roomba that actually perform useful tasks. (Hey, maybe one day a Vector will be rolling around collecting our cubes of post-apocalyptic trash.) In the meantime, according to Engadget, Anki management said it will continue to seek any financial options left available to continue their work. 19659007] [Recode]


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