Back at WWDC, Apple invited the robotics company Anki on to the stage to show off its connected toy car game, Drive, in which physical toy cars sail around a track while you control them with your iOS device. It was seriously impressive. iFixit got their hands on an Anki Drive set, and, like spoiled children, set about dismantling their new toys.
Once the toy cars are cracked open, their guts, like the cars themselves, are adorably rudimentary. The input from your phone arrives at the car’s little Bluetooth controller where it’s handled by the ultra basic chip: An ARM Cortex-M0 Multipoint Control Unit with 64kb of flash memory and a 48MHz CPU 48MHz. The chip in turn controls the motors.
As we saw in the demo in June, Anki Drive has several different kinds of cars which all come with their own powers and skills. How they all behave on the track is calculated dynamically in real-time in response to your input and the input of others who are playing. At first, it seems crazy that these little cars can zip around a track with such precision when they’ve got so little firepower on board. But remember, the Anki Drive’s hardcore computation isn’t actually being done on the cars themselves — it’s being done on the device you’re using to control it. And as we know, Apple’s system chips are not toys at all. [iFixit]