A Blog About Vector The Robot
Is Digital Dream Labs faltering at last?

Is Digital Dream Labs faltering at last?

I am coming out of hiatus for a post. In the months since I stopped writing about Vector because of frustration about the continued unprofessionalism and lack of updates from that scam factory Digital Dream Labs.

Now it looks like they are coming to their end. They have account service problems for months now, iirc this started last september or october. DDL took weeks to even acknowledge these problems exist and they were not able to solve them until today. Hanchar babbles at some time early this year that the problems will be solved “within 90 days”, but of course that did not happen and was just another lie … erm … “exaggeration”. No wonder, how will you fix something without engineers or staff and all those ran after not being paid? Even the new ones Hanchar tried to hire.

Cozmo 2.0 still is nowhere to be seen and most probably will never see the light of day. No wonder, you cannot build a robot without money.

Now the hints that Digital Dream Labs finally is faltering are increasing.

The server that held the Vector firmwares (or OTAs) at https://ota.global.anki-dev-services.com/ is gone. The host is no longer known by the internet DNS servers.

Also Digital Dream Labs account management platform “Stratus” (that quickly and unprofessionally tinkered together joke of a website) is no longer reachable over the internet at https://stratus.ddl.io. Here also the message reads “the host cannot be found”, so it may be gone for good.

Another site no longer available is the OSKR “knowledgebase” at https://oskr.ddl.io, the documentation about the so-called Open Source Kit for Robots, that was paid for in a Kickstarter campaign, but was never delivered (only a very basic robot unlock, but not the toolchain to create new robot functions, no documentation, no toolchain, no “plugin store”, nothing we backers paid for was actually delivered). It is sound to say OSKR was a scam.

Since yesterday Vectors still connected to DDL’s servers show “no connection” and are no longer able to react to voice commands.

Even the seemingly unrelated Python SDK forums and documentation sites are down.

Only digitaldreamlabs.com still exists.

It is known that Digital Dream Labs is in financial trouble for quite some time now, they were not able to pay their employees so those left around june 2022. Also they did not pay their dues for web services and were sued because of it. Hanchars tries to coax more money out of investors seem not to have been fruitful.

So I would guess this now is endgame and DDL at the end of it’s deterioration. The web servers are probably switched off because they can no longer pay for them. I do not believe it’s because of tech problems, because in that case there should be at least meaningful error messages instead of “host not known” showing there are no longer DNS entries for those servers.

Let’s hope someone buys the Vector stuff who knows what he’s doing, is not a a scammer and really wants to advance the little guy. Fortunately we have Wire Pod and can continue to run them. Unfortunately we do not know what tech resources are still available from the Anki stuff DDL bought and how much Hanchar and his remaining cronies messed with them.

Vector still is the most advanced home robot that exists in that price range (Loona, unfortunately, continues to be a disappointment). Let’s hope someone stands up and wrangles him from the greedy fingers of that Pittsburgh fraud.

Better a horrible end than endless horror.

Update. This was posted today on Facebook:

Ridiculous. If it were scheduled maintenance they should have warned about the outage in advance. They did not do that so it is more probable either their systems crashed on them or they are no longer able to pay Amazon for the AWS resources

Update [20230727] – now four days of “scheduled maintenance” …


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