Vector OSKR rollout

Yesterday Digital Dream Labs did send a mail to their Kickstarter backers that the rollout of the Open Source Kit for Robots (or short: OSKR) has started. That will basically turn any robot onto a development version, thus allowing third parties to change Vector’s firmware and also to develop new features for it.

Given the history of botched rollouts from DDL I was quite skeptical and expected further delays and complications, but from information I got they actually started toe rollout to about ten percent of the Kickstarter backers.

There also is a written documentation available on how to turn a Vector into an OSKR version. As expected this involves a lot of command line tinkering and definitely is only for advanced users, but that was to be expected. You also will need a linux installation, either a real one, or Windows Subsystem for Linux.

Also there are first video clips on the Anki youtube channel explaining the process.

I will work one of my robots through the process as soon as I am contacted via email and given the details for my OSKR pledge reward. Since you need to contact DDL by mail after that to get some information to unlock Vector I expect further delays because we all know the email response times of that company.

Expect further articles on this. As it utilizes the Vector Web Setup that is known to be quite buggy on different sytsems and solely relies on Chrome webbrowser (even if others also provide Web Bluetooth) I am quite sure the users trying to install OSKR will run into problems.

However, despite my great scepticism it looks like OSKR actually is rolled out. Expect bug infestation.

Update: The source for the OSKR manual can be found on Github.

Update 2: Vector Web Setup on https://vector-setup.ddl.io/html/main.html asks for my Anki account credentials but if I provide them will not let me log in.

One comment

  1. Cyke

    Yes,you’re right :unlocking your Vector robot IS tricky ! Here’s a better way to unlock it with falling in traps !

    Shaun Miller presents :

    Easy Unlock your Vector !

    These are raw notes, but it’s the best I can come up with without trying out the process again many different times. Hope this helps others, feel free to comment/correct as needed.

    Lessons learned from first oskr install:

    Using https://oskr.ddl.io/doc/unlock.html as the main guide:

    Step 2 (Doing a Test Upgrade) essentially puts the robot into a known good state to apply the oskr image. However after ‘Erasing User Data’ and ‘Factory Reset’ procedure, he will lose his knowledge of your wifi network. At first I was trying to go through auto-setup with https://vector-setup.ddl.io/ and setting him back up like he was a new robot. But instead later on I found it was easier to uncheck auto-setup and then issue the command:

    wifi-connect ssid your_wifi_password

    So the process is:
    Erase User Data
    Factory Reset
    Re-pair bluetooth
    wifi-connect command
    ota-start http://path_to_ota_file.ota

    ==============================
    Prod latest.ota vs oskr latest.ota:
    There is an important distinction needed about the prod latest.ota and the oskr latest.ota.

    In Step 2, you will be using the prod latest.ota, and in Step 4 the oskr latest.ota.

    So for step 2 the url is:
    http://ota.global.anki-services.com/vic/prod/full/latest.ota

    For step 4 the url is:
    http://ota.global.anki-services.com/vic/oskr/full/latest.ota

    So when hosting your own web server, I would suggest having 3 files:
    /latest_prod.ota
    /latest_oskr.ota
    /NNNNNNNN.ota (which is your custom robot ota file)

    If you try to use the latest_prod.ota after applying your custom ota file, Vector will I believe show a cloud with a ‘!’ icon and refuse to apply it.

    =================================
    In a nutshell then the high level process is:
    Reset Vector to a known good state
    Apply latest_prod.ota
    Apply custom.ota
    Apply latest_oskr.ota

    Other notes:
    Be prepared to pair Vector Bluetooth many times.
    If the browser app https://vector-setup.ddl.io/ is giving you trouble after some steps, close it and try again.

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