Anki Drive

Four small race cars in a row.
Meet Kourai, Katal, Boson, and Rho. Photo: Anki

Anki Drive is a racing game featuring small robotic cars. The game uses an AI engine running on an iPhone to control the cars. Players can race against each other or take on the AI.



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It's alive. Video: Anki

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Average Rating: 4.3 stars (3,995 ratings)

Current Ranking: #19 top rated

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86% said yes (4,040 ratings)

Current Ranking: #23 most wanted



Most rated "Somewhat Friendly" (8,635 ratings)

Current Ranking: #228 creepiest

Did you know?

Anki hired Patrick Stewart, famous for his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek, to narrate a tutorial for the game.

A red and black race car.
Rho is built for speed. Photo: Anki
A race track mat with two small race cars on it.
The starter kit. Photo: Anki


The creators of Anki Drive, Boris Sofman, Mark Palatucci, and Hanns Tappeiner, first met as students in the PhD program at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute. After sketching out the idea of the Anki platform on a napkin, they moved to San Francisco, where they founded Anki. Anki Drive was their first product. According to the founders, transforming the initial idea into reality took "countless algorithms, late nights, more napkin sketches, and prototypes." Anki Drive was unveiled at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June 2013, where Sofman, the Anki CEO, described it as a "video game in the real world," adding that the company wants to bring robotics and AI out of the lab and into our everyday lives. The company's second product was another robot racing game, Anki Overdrive, unveiled in 2015. It was followed by Cozmo, a small programmable robot, and then Vector, a social AI-powered robot released in 2018. Anki raised a total of US $182.5 million from Andreessen Horowitz, JP Morgan, and other investors. In April 2019, after failing to secure a critical round of funding, Anki shut down. Later that year, Anki assets, including Overdrive, Cozmo, and Vector, were acquired by Digital Dream Labs, in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Screen shot of a car named Boson with stats showing speed, energy, recharge, accel and agility.
Each car has different characteristics. Photo: Anki
Screen shot of stats for a car named Boson.
You can add new capabilities to your car. Photo: Anki



Cars communicate with iOS devices via Bluetooth low energy technology (no Wi-Fi required). Players can upgrade cars with new capabilities.





4.45 cm
2.49 cm (height of an Anki car)
7.87 cm

Optical sensor located on the bottom of each car. The sensor detects patterns embedded on the track, so each car can determine its own position and the position of other cars.


Two micro DC motors with optical encoders.


The cars have 50 MHz microcontrollers that communicate with each other and the iOS device via Bluetooth low energy.


AI engine running on iOS device orchestrates the game. No OS in the cars; they run directly on microcontrollers.


Lithium polymer battery; 20 minutes of gameplay.

$199.99 for the starter kit (includes two cars, track, and charger). $69.99 for each expansion car.