United Kingdom based Reach Robotics launched MekaMon, an augmented reality gaming robot, last week. MekaMon is a new robot that you can control with your phone and it occupies a virtual battlefield that can be seen through the phone’s screen. The robot can fight virtual opponents with missiles and lasers. The robot also has a ‘MekaMon Universe’ backstory.
Reach Robotics is a startup created by Silas Adekunle. Their motive of creating a robot like MekaMon is to create a gaming experience that would go beyond a screen. They want to create a world where things come life in front of you.
What is MekaMon?
MekaMon is a fun robot that combines video game and real world combat. It is a weaponised robot that promises a new age of hard core gaming. These app-driven robots are created to battle in both physical and digital worlds. MekaMon is like a merger between digital and physical games that brings toys to life.
With a product like MekaMon, the founder Silas Adekunle wants not only to entertain people, but also inspire and educate them. They are offering their consumers in the artificial intelligence market something different and tangible that they can touch. By bridging this gap they are trying to provide a more practical entertainment experience.
Adenkule got the inspiration from building robots in science classes with underprivileged students in the U.K. Also, he feels robotics is a good way to incorporate biology and engineering in a product, that led him down this path.
The Design & Build
The robot are designed to look like a parasite and are controlled using a smartphone app. The smartphone app helps create an augmented reality world to battle in and explore. You can also use the app to upgrade the robots with new capabilities. The robots have three degrees of freedom per leg that allows a good level of movement. The robots weigh about 2.2 pounds and have one hour of battery life per charge.
What does it do?
MekaMon uses the camera on our smartphones to spot track itself through an accompanying app. The app will be used as a controller for steering the bots and firing weapons. The battles can be done on a play mat of probably two feet by three feet, that you get with the robot. You can customize the robot using the currency earned during the gameplay. The companion app works on both Android and iOS devices.
It includes single-player mode, multiplayer, and co-op modes. If you’re a single player, you can battle up against digital challenges that are shown on screen and lets you earn upgrades. With two players, a multi-player match can be played against each other. This new robot can fight bot-on-bot in real-time and in an actual, real environment. A single MekaMon robot can connect to multiple devices which set up a cooperative gameplay for two people.
The surroundings would not take any real damage from the robot combat. The lasers and explosions are displayed onscreen as the MekaMon robots fight. The MekaMon robots do not fire projectiles.
What’s in the Box?
Here is a list of contents in the box:
- 1 x MekaMon
- 1 x Play mat
- 1 x MekaCore & Charger
- 2 x Fury rifles
- 4 x Light shields
Available for Pre-order
The MekaMon robot is available for pre-order at a price of $329 and a two-pack MekaMon can be ordered for $599. The robots will start shipping in January of 2017. Get your own robot drone to feel the future of real world robotic video games.
Reach Robotics also plans to release a software development kit next year that will let people create and develop ideas on MekaMon platform.