RoboEngineers is an immersive VR sandbox where players can design, build, and test their own robot, offering players an engaging inroad to the world of robotics and mechanical engineering.
As an open-ended robotics sandbox experience, RoboEngineers will afford players the ability to form hypotheses, build robots, test, and iterate, mirroring the processes of project-based robotics and maker programs.
In addition to robot construction, RoboEngineers also offers “challenge courses” that test players’ ability to build to specification. Each course will require a different physics-based challenge for which a capable robot must be constructed. For example, a course might require players to navigate a set of stationary obstacles and then place a cube on a pressure plate, requiring a robot with maneuverability and the ability to pick up, transport, and place objects. This serves as an abstraction of the underlying dynamics of engineering design; that is, identifying a problem and developing a solution engineered specifically to that problem.
According to the developers, RoboEngineers offers several advantages over both traditional robotics programs and traditional digital experiences.
In terms of robotics programs, RoboEngineers has the advantage of infinite components – digital parts can regenerate infinitely, which dramatically lowers the consumables cost of robotics over the long term. Iteration happens far more rapidly, as digital prototypes can be easily disassembled without fear of breakage or the need to replace parts.
In terms of digital experiences, RoboEngineers has the virtual reality advantages of embodiment and immersion. Compared to any traditional screen-based experience, the gap of abstraction between the real-world activity and its’ virtual reality counterpart is unprecedentedly narrow.
Author: Eliane Alhadeff