The robots controlled with an AR smartphone app get some new tricks.
The idea of robots battling each other in gloriously violent combat has excited people for years – well, unless you’re a BBC executive apparently. Whether it’s through the likes of Battlebots, Robot Wars, or even through adventures on the big screen such as the Termintor films or the likes of Real Steel. It’s a difficult thing to translate into actual in-home entertainment.
I don’t see owning Sir Killalot being particularly beneficial to your soft furnishings.
Fortunately, there are other options to have some robot battling fun that don’t involve pre-planning a trip to IKEA to replace everything you own. For instance, there is MekaMon a robotic spider you can control, customise and fight with by Bristol-based Reach Robotics. What makes it even more enticing is the fact that it can utilise augmented reality (AR) to make those battles just a little bit crazier.
The creators have just announced version 2 of the robot which features improved multiplayer, doubling the existing capacity to four players. New gameplay modes and a new interface set to help streamline controls have also been added as has the ability to set up tailored loadouts for your machines. But perhaps the biggest changes have come with the development of MekaMon’s use of AR.
“With V2 we’ve not only improved our augmented reality single player game mode, we’ve completely rebuilt the experience from the ground up.” Explained the team on their official blog. “You can scrap your mat now, because we’ve developed new tracking technology that affords us improved stability without an AR marker. Markerless AR is here, and it opens your game world up to a host of new possibilities. At the start of your AR game, you will now be able to map your playspace. You define where you play, and how big your virtual arena will be.”
“Similarly, our brand new Virtual Meka experience offers augmented reality MekaMon gameplay wherever you are, without the need for your robot. Don’t own a MekaMon yet? Jump in for a quick round just by downloading the official MekaMon companion app to see what all the fuss is about! The Virtual Meka experience offers quick access and short rounds to satisfy your need for cutting edge AR wherever you are. Use your MekaMon robot in our traditional AR mode for the full experience!”
You can watch a trailer for MekaMon below, and find out more details about the product and the V2 update on their website.