Want to waste some time today in the name of science? MIT's Personal Robotics Group has launched Mars Escape, a video game in which a human-robot duo stranded on a Mars base scramble to repair a failing oxygen generator before the oxygen supply runs out. But the two-player role playing game isn't just for recreation; data extracted from the game will be used to provide an algorithmic basis for better robot-human interaction.
Here at PopSci we're always looking for the best and baddest in robotics news. But this week -- National Robotics Week -- we're ratcheting up our coverage, highlighting some of the most thought-provoking, future-driven concepts in robo-tech each day.
There are two things that are universally true about Tetris: that Russian-style theme music is impossible to get out of your head, and everybody loves Tetris. Which is why we had to take a moment to highlight the Tetris-Bot, a simple PC gaming robot patched together from a digital evaluation module (EVM), a web cam and a Lego Mindstorms robot kit.
Wii wand not cutting it for you anymore? A group of game designers at the National University of Singapore have developed a next-gen immersive gaming system that blends virtual reality and augmented reality with the physical environment. Wearing head-mounted displays and using other peripherals, players use the open space around them to move, jump, crouch and aim within a game, collecting virtual objects and fighting opponents real and virtual along the way.
People who hate creepy kids and Halloween aren't out of the woods yet. A new Wii-exclusive Baby and Me arrives just in time for the holiday season, so that every Nintendo-loving household can stick a wiimote in an anatomically correct doll's back to rock it lovingly via accelerometer and hear its gurgles, giggles and wails through a tinny Wiimote speaker.
Dungeon masters with deep, dark pockets no longer need imagine how the venerable tabletop game Dungeons & Dragons might play on a futuristic multi-touch platform. Six students at Carnegie Mellon University recently released a video showing off their D&D concept for Microsoft's Surface Table, complete with a storyboard slideshow and rolling the virtual 20-sided die.
Ladies and gentleman of the Internet, I think today we may have found the best possible application for chiptune music--that uber-geeky genre utilizing vintage game console's music synthesizers, real or software-emulated, as the sole instrumentation. It just so happens that faithful covers of jazz classics sound great: the pleasures of one of my favorite albums of all time intermingling beautifully in my (significant) brainspace cubby where the Contra and Tecmo Bowl themes are on infinite loop.
Sony’s PlayStation 3 is a gaming giant -- figuratively and literally. Figuratively, its graphics are amazing and it has been praised as the best Blu-ray player you can buy. Literally, the 80GB system weighs more than 11 pounds and sucks five times as much energy as a fridge when running, according to a 2008 study. The just-announced PS3 Slim kicks those beastly qualities to the curb.
You can already swing a metaphorical tennis racket, do the virtual hula or drive a virtual steering wheel. So what could possibly be next for the Wii?
Why, this inflatable horseback riding saddle controller, of course. Seriously—-a saddle. To ride in your living room.
Ever wish you could play a game that tailors its strategy around your particular playing style? Thanks to a team of game programmers affiliated with the MIT Media Lab, and their project The Restaurant Game, that might be a reality sooner than you think.