Ozobot Robot Has A Brain

Posted: Mar 20 2014, 8:59am CDT | by , in News | Technology News

Ozobot, The Game-Piece With A Brain
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There are plenty of robot gadgets, like the Sphero 2B, creating new ways to play. However, I came across a product recently that takes the physical-electronic play space in a fresh direction: Ozobot.

Ozobot is a small USB charged robot that tracks lines to follow a path. Nothing hugely revolutionary there, but Ozobot takes things further by reading different colors on the line to adjust its behavior: speed, direction, path finding.

This combines with a variety of physical and tablet games to create a product that crosses over the traditional game-toy divide. It can also do this in play, traveling seamlessly from a circuit on the iPad onto a physically drawn path — again opening up new game-mechanics.

With over a million different code combinations the little robot can be used in all sorts of different scenarios. A couple I tried were Ozorace (Kickstarter) where players applied different abilities to their robot while on the iPad section. The racers then follow the tracks off the tablet and around the room as they play out these instructions.

Another game was like Pipe Mania, but with a physical player token. Each player takes turns to lay track tiles of different shapes to try and move the Ozobot to their destination.

While the presence of the robot is not technically an integral part of the game, having a physical token like this is engaging to a wider audience and substantially changes how the experience feels.

Ozobot Factfile:

  • 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter and height
  • Intelligent gameplay via optical communication
  • Photo sensor array for precise pattern, color, light and secret code recognition.
  • Automatic detection of playing surface (physical or digital) and transitions seamlessly between one and the other
  • Color sensing technology on both physical and digital surfaces
  • Dual micro motors for variable speeds between 0.6 – 3 in/sec (1.5 – 7.5 cm/sec)
  • Incorporates a V-shaped 5 optical sensor array for line detection and 90-degree turns and intersections
  • Capable of independent decisions based on random logic selections
  • Visual feedback with multicolor LED lighting
  • Micro-USB based rechargeable LiPoly battery (40 min. of continuous operation on a single charge; battery charges to 100 percent capacity in 40 min.)

Source: Forbes

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