WATCH | MekaMon mixes robotics and AR gaming


World’s first truly gaming robot combines augmented reality and artificial intelligence to turn your living room into a battlefield, as Reuters’ Stuart McDill reports.

A real robot in a virtual war. MekaMon inhabits both real life and augmented reality. No toy, Reach Robotics say this programming platform is a world first.

“MekaMon is the world’s first gaming robot so that’s a robot that you control from your smartphone or tablet. Think of it as a videogame character in real life, your personal robot and then you can take it into lots of different types of games, so games where you battle other people, games where you are playing against virtual characters using augmented reality or just playing with the robot itself,” Silas Adekunle, co-founder and CEO of Reach Robotics, saying.

Four infrared sensors and a Bluetooth link to your smartphone allow MekaMon to track a real world enemy when in battle mode. But no enemy is no problem – Arcade Mode puts MekaMon at the centre of a catalogue of classic games re-imagined – as long its battery lasts – about an hour and a half of playtime.

“How do we make sure the experience, the single player experience is great as well and the best way to do that is we’ve all got a smartphone in our pocket, why don’t we leverage that to allow us to take the robot into a virtual world? And that was the moment when we thought well, that’s a great way to create a single player experience that will actually be engaging for people,” Adekunle, saying.

The robot’s modular design includes detachable legs with three degrees of motion and can be customized by users.

“We’ll be releasing add-ons over the next year that allows you to change the behavior of the MekaMon and all of the design to your personalised style,” Adekunle, saying.

Reach Robotics say they envisage leagues where players can battle it out either in the same space or different countries… All for around 300 pounds or dollars.