Thursday, 13 June 2013

ANKI Drive Artificial Intelligence Racing Game

ANKI Drive is artificial intelligence racing game which uses physical toy racing cars that are controlled from an iOS app using AI techniques. This is a different approach to the augmented reality technology in TableTop Speed.

A version of the app is already available from the iTunes store so you can get a preview. The actual toy cars will be launching in fall 2013.

The idea is to bring gaming into the real world so you can control a physical toy car and mix up the physical and digital worlds.

In ANKI Drive you have a game mat and physical robot cars that drive around it. The intelligence is in an iOS device which communicates with the cars and controls them.

The tablet or phone is not used as a remote control for directly controlling the motion of the cars. Instead it is used to configure the AI behavior of the cars including their weapons.

Players can compete against each other or against a virtual player. To get a better idea of how the game works let's take a look at ANKI's presentation and demo at Apple WWDC:

By the end of the demo we really start to see the potential of this approach. 

The app is rated for age 4+, but this is going to be for older kids, I can see the tween and teen age groups loving a game like this that they can play competitively. 

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