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Robotics manufacturer Anki is stripped for parts #makerbusiness

Anki IP

Anki was once a hot consumer robotics startup. We’ve chronicled them a bit, but they were known for making adorable little robots like the one in this video here. Even with over $200 million in funding, million dollar Kickstarters, and hundreds of millions in revenue, the company couldn’t find a way to make its business profitable.

As it was saddled with debt, when it closed the company’s assets went into auction, and was sold into its various components. The Robot Report wrote an article highlighting the sale of it is patent portfolio (pictured above).

The physical assets inside Anki’s 40,000-square-foot office in San Francisco were auctioned off in June. The patent portfolio sale includes the following assets:

  • 45 issued utility patents, including 35 US patents
  • 11 published patent applications
  • 39 pending patent applications
  • 3 utility patents in the National Phase (PCT)
  • 73 issued design patents
  • Trademarks for Anki, Cozmo, Vector, Anki Overdrive, and product lines in development
  • Anki.com domain name

With all that value its pretty remarkable they couldn’t stay afloat. They faced some serious hurdles:

A recent teardown video, however, shed light on the complex, costly, and manual manufacturing processes involved with building the Anki’s robot.

And:

…a strategic partnership “fell through at the last minute” that could have bridged the gap to the next robot. Anki was also recently sued for patent infringement. Filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, the lawsuit alleges Vector infringes on three audio-related patents from StretchTech.

The key employees have moved on, but there is still a lot of value to be had here. If someone can work out a cheaper unit cost, and/or sit on the patents until there are some technological advancements, there is likely money to be made here. We’ll report if anyone scoops it up.

Read more here.


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