BRISTOL, U.K. (Jan. 3, 2017) — Pokemon Go introduced the magic that comes from augmented reality to the world. As fun as it was, it was limited to watching onscreen battles between digital creatures. Now, augmented reality breaks out of the screen with MekaMon: the world’s first premium gaming robots that battle in both the physical and virtual worlds, creating a limitless experience for gamers everywhere.
Created by Reach Robotics and available for purchase today at MekaMon.com, MekaMon starts at $279 and is a new way to experience augmented reality, robotics and video games, where the whole universe is one giant battlefield.
Augmented Reality, Real Robots
Inside the MekaMon app, the smartphone screen becomes a dashboard for controlling and customizing the real-life robots, as well as a gateway for augmented reality gameplay. In single player, the screen transforms into a vast augmented reality world where players embark on an epic campaign and gamers learn how to strike, evade, and
master the robot’s controls. MekaMon’s tracking technology enables robots to transcend the physical environment and become one with digital gameplay in real time.
MekaMon’s robots have gone through 27 iterations over three years of development to become premium fighting machines. Features include:
Three degrees of freedom per leg allowing a sophisticated level of movement
Customization by physical accessories that add weapons or shields, enabling the creation of aggressive, defensive or technical specialists
One hour of battery life per charge
Phone camera and infrared tracking system for precision gameplay
Lightweight form factor (2.2 pounds) to enable swift battle strikes Two Bots Enter, One Bot Leaves MekaMon spans single and multiplayer action.
In multiplayer mode, friends battle in bot-to bot-combat as well as arcade-style, co-op gameplay that spans Tug of War, Last Man Standing, and more. MekaMon robots can also connect to multiple devices, allowing for cooperative gameplay for two people and up. In single-player mode, gamers progress through the MekaMon campaign and earn upgrades and experience points that they can use later for future battles.
As the robots battle, they level up and achieve new capabilities and weapons that can be customized in the mobile app based on a player’s strategy. Digital items augment abilities and boost health and recovery times, adding a layer of depth and strategy to upgrade choices and inventory.
Co-founded by 25-year-old Nigerian robotics engineer Silas Adekunle, Reach Robotics has assembled a team of leading engineers, game designers and computer vision PhDs and experts who have built their
reputations working at Aston Martin and Airbus. The result is a premium robotics product that’s easy to play but difficult to master and aimed squarely at bringing consumer robots to the multi-billion dollar toys-to-life market.
“At the root of everything we build is the premise that gaming is an experience that goes beyond a screen. We imagine a world where things come to life in front of you,” says Silas Adekunle, CEO and cofounder of Reach Robotics. “Our inspiration came from building robots in STEM classes with underprivileged students in the U.K., and while we got our humble start there — we’re ready to introduce a new twist on hardware and video games and unleash our battling robots.”
Enlist in the MekAcademy
The first 500 people to buy MekaMon will receive exclusive features and enter the MekAcademy, a club that offers special promotions, battle advice and more. For a limited time, a single MekaMon is available in the Lone Wolf Battle Pack for $279 while the Ultimate Battle Pack contains two MekaMons and is available for $499 – a discount of more than 35 percent from its retail price.
Founded in 2013 by CEO Silas Adekunle, CTO Chris Beck and COO John Rees, Reach Robotics is creating the future of gaming by fusing robotics, reality-bending technology and competitive play. MekaMon is the company’s first product and the company is backed by world-class investors like London Venture Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, Hardware Club, Iglobe Partners, Passion Capital and Techstars.
Dolls, Robots and Dreams: the aim is to engage more girls in Science & Tech by connecting their tablets and smartphones to their dolls via a robot
January 31st, 2017, Spielwarenmesse, Nuremberg, Germany
While millions of robots and mini-drones have been sold this year, few have ended up in the hands of women or even girls reflecting a deepening gender gap in the world of technology.
Many girls’ toys lag behind in the development of spatial skills, hands-on problem solving skills, and confidence with technology.
These are exactly the skills that SmartGurlz aims to develop.
SmartGurlz has a unique offering of stylish scooter robots, dolls and books with digital elements such as an e-learning platform that teaches basic coding. The idea is to encourage girls from being consumers of technology into creators and code writers.
‘We at SmartGurlz believe that kids learn by playing and childhood is a time for setting the foundation for further educational pursuits,’ said CEO and Co-Founder, Sharmi Albrechtsen, ‘we wanted to modernize doll playing to reflect changing times. The end result are really amazing mini-drones shaped like fashionable Italian scooters and Segway-like vehicles that are self-balancing, driven by App and can be coded using our own coding platform SugarCoded TM.’
The self-balancing aspect is unique since the robot can maneuver in small rooms, on carpet, inside and outside. SmartGurlz’s CTO, Thomas Kølbæk Jespersen has been working with Aalborg University and DTU’s robotics departments to finalise this unique feature.
Launched this 2016 Christmas in Denmark, Switzerland and UK, SmartGurlz charms geeks and toy masters but most importantly impresses girls and their parents with the amount of creative fun coding can give.
Designed by tech toy start-up company, SmartGurlz Aps, girls playing with SmartGurlz gain three major learnings:
1. SPATIAL REASONING. Girls learn how to direct/orient their robots in new environments and interpret maps.
2. COMPUTER PROGRAMMING. Girls learn to program their robots using our specially made kids coding software App called Sugar CodedTM*.
3. STORYTELLING & PROBLEM SOLVING.Girls learn to story tell and solve missions via coding.
*SugarCoded was inspired by open-sourced Scratch, the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab and uses elements from Blockly, created by Google.
SMARTGURLZ NEW YORK STORY: CHARACTERS & BOOKS
SmartGurlz first product line is SmartGurlz New York ™ which focuses on the everyday adventures of 4 young talented women studying at the fictional New York Institute of Technology – N.I.T.
A collaboration with the Kurhn Doll Company allows us to offer high quality fashion/action dolls that represent the ideals of SmartGurlz New York TM.
SmartGurlz New York dolls are naturalistic and smartly dressed with simple elegance that you may find in a real-life, young woman touring around a college campus in the ‘Big Apple’, New York City. The multi-cultural dolls represent various education backgrounds including Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and our books highlight each girl’s corresponding story line.
SmartGurlz New York products are available Christmas 2016.
Siggy: Robot, Doll and Apps •Ages 6+
SugarCoded App•Free a strategic game-like interface that teaches coding and allows for self-build coding projects available at both App Store and Google Play
ABOUT SMARTGURLZ, A/S. SmartGurlz is a fun, tech toy to engage girls in design, robotics and computer programming using their mobile phones and tablets. It’s created for girls who want to take playing with fashion dolls to the next level, and the name of our little company. (We’re brand new!)
Hong Kong (PRWEB) January 23, 2017 — Today Hanson Robotics launched a Kickstarter campaign for an uncannily human-like robot version of Albert Einstein. The company aims to honor the iconic and imaginative scientist and bring fully expressive robots direct to consumers.
Professor Einstein is a 14.5” personal robot with the ability to walk, hold a natural conversation, learn your name, maintain eye contact, answer questions, entertain and teach science. He’s cloud and Wifi connected, allowing for dynamic interaction with a tablet and the corresponding Stein-O-Matic app to learn and play games.
The robot guides users through the world of science and beyond by presenting interactive lessons, eye-popping slideshows, daily mental kick starts, thought experiments, jokes, brain games and more. With new activities added to the Stein-O-Matic every day, Professor Einstein’s robust reward system allows users to earn IQ points, which can be used to unlock special items, bonus games and avatar upgrades.
The idea for Professor Einstein was born out of toy inventor Andy Rifkin’s lifelong fascination with all things Einstein, and the values he stood for. Hanson Robotics founder and CEO Dr. David Hanson approached Andy about teaming up to create a robot, which led to the formation of a unique shared vision. Rifkin was invited to join as Hanson Robotics’ Chief Technology Officer and the robot was developed under the Hanson Robotics umbrella.
“Professor Einstein has an adaptive learning ability, which means that if you don’t understand something, he will modify the way he presents the information,” said Rifkin. “He has infinite patience. He will keep trying different ways of explaining things until it “clicks” for you. Plus, because he teaches through jokes, metaphors, and games, he makes learning genuinely fun.”
“It was crucial for us that Professor Einstein would embody a sense of playfulness and wonder,” said Hanson. “He had to inspire imagination, be a great conversationalist, and make the gestures and facial expressions that the real Albert Einstein was known for.”
The Professor Einstein Kickstarter campaign runs from January 23 – February 27, 2017. Early bird pricing starts at $249 USD. For a full rundown of the pledge levels visit the Kickstarter page.