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How the Video Game was Redefined with Robotics and A.I.

Mark Palatucci (Anki Inc.), Christina Bonnington (WIRED)
Location: Fire House
Average rating: ***..
(3.00, 1 rating)

Video games have come a long way since the early days of Pac Man. The graphics are crisper, the scores more powerful, and the consoles more interconnected with other household devices. Yet the baseline player experience has remained unchanged for nearly 30 years, with all elements of gameplay trapped behind a screen. The infusion of robotics and artificial intelligence into the living room promises to change that, extracting what’s possible with virtual video games for real life applications in the physical world. Anki demonstrated the first example of this promise at Apple’s 2013 WWDC with Anki Drive: a racing game that takes the software elements people love about video games – character and gameplay evolution – and infuses them into the ubiquitous slot cars of our past. The result is the first ever video game programmed for the real world.

In this talk, Anki Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, Mark Palatucci will discuss how robotics and A.I. creates an entirely new category in entertainment when those technologies are brought out of the labs and into the hands of every day consumers. Attendees will learn why robotics and A.I. have been confined to applications in the military, agriculture and mass industry for so long, and what fundamental problems needed to be solved in order to create consumer products that utilize them. They’ll also understand the crucial role that developments in mobile and computing cost played in accomplishing this, and how it enabled Anki to create a software foundation that can be used as building blocks for countless robotics products in the future.

Photo of Mark Palatucci

Mark Palatucci

Anki Inc.

Mark Palatucci is the Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of Anki. He is passionate about creating products that truly surprise and excite people. Prior to Anki, Mark launched his own embedded systems and mobile software company as well as held engineering and research positions at Google and Intel. Mark earned a B.S.E. from the University of Pennsylvania and both a M.S. and Ph.D. from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Mark has spent the last five years rethinking the robots found in industry and military applications into a consumer-friendly and affordable gaming experience never before seen – Anki Drive.

Photo of Christina Bonnington

Christina Bonnington


Christina Bonnington is a Staff Writer for WIRED covering consumer technology, including mobile, wearables, and robotics. She is also co-host of the wildly popular daily 6-second Vine tech news show The GINGERCAST. With a background in electrical engineering, she loves exploring the how’s and why’s of technology.