Reach Robotics released the second generation of its Augmented Reality (AR) combat robot, Mekamon, and is strangely adorable.
In February, TechRadar visited the company's new office in the United Kingdom, where we spoke with the boss Operations manager John Rees and technology chief Chris Beck about the history of Mekamon and the future of AR games. Now, the team has more than doubled and is about to extend to another floor of the building.
We returned the day after the team sent the Mekamon 2.0 app to Apple for review. It had been a long night, but Reach is used to working at speed; This is a company that took its first robot from a hand-made plastic prototype to the shelves of the real world Apple Stores in just four years.
Next generation skirmishes
The robot itself has also increased its speed. The Mekamon 2.0 similar to a spider is not simply faster and more agile than the machine that TechRadar revised last year (there is a noticeably lower latency between the application and the robot, which gives a more direct sense of control), it also has more character  "We wanted to change robotics from something boring to something that can evolve," explained Reach Robotics & apos; CEO and co-founder Silas Adekunle. "Now the robot has personality."
When turned on, the machine hits each of your feet and & apos; it looks & apos; Around to take in its surroundings. This is not just a nice animation, said Adekunle, it is also part of the calibration process when Mekamon finds his feet.
While Mekamon 1.0 required a patterned mat to help him recognize the floor, Mekamon 2.0 is completely missing markers. Marking the space where the battle will take place is a simple matter of walking through the area and allowing the application to map a patch of soil.
Adekunle compares the concept of Mekamon with "Pokémon" in real life & apos ;. The robot works with a mobile application (available for iPhone and iOS) and can interact with other physical robots or virtual opponents presented on the screen of your device in augmented reality. While Mekamon 1.0 was only capable of individual battles, version 2.0 can face three opponents at a time, with the results shown in a leaderboard.
If you (or a friend) invested in the previous model, don & apos; t concern: Mekamon 2.0 is fully compatible with previous versions, and Reach aims to ensure that your hardware is compatible for as long as possible. Eventually, the goal is that anyone can go to battle using only the application, whether they have hardware or not, making Mekamon a complete platform.
Skirmishes have been improved, with further improvements. combinations of weapons and shields that combine properties such as firepower and speed) and ways to deal with the enemy, but perhaps the most exciting addition to the Mekamon app is the new Create mode, which includes cinematic animation.
stop-motion. The robot adopts a kind of waxy flexibility, which allows you to bend and position your limbs without damaging it. Once you have made a pose, essentially a frame, you can capture it with a touch of the application. Once you have finished, press play and Mekamon will move through the set poses, creating a smooth animation.
Reach's team demonstrated several of their own creations, including a kind of Mexican wave, a touch, and twerking, and soon & apos; You can share your own creations with other users around the world through the application.
We will review very soon the new and more characteristic Mekamon.
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