Technology

Real Robots Fight A Virtual War in Your Living Room

A robotics startup aims to build on the Pokemon Go craze by putting real robots in a digital world.

A Robotics Startup Has Put Real Robots in a Digital World

Silas Adekunle is trying to take the augmented world -- and success -- of Pokemon Go to the next level by adding robots. Real ones.

The 25-year-old Nigerian-born chief executive officer of Reach Robotics may be on the cusp of creating the next big craze, if the first impression of his MekaMon robots is any indication.

While there are already plenty of spider-type robot toys on the market, the U.K. startup has put a lot of work into giving the MekaMon creations a range of movements, postures and canned moves that make them stick out. That’s the centerpiece of a system that lets users control the robots with their phones. They fight battles with each other and with computer-generated opponents in the virtual world, all visible on the phone’s screen. Their real-life movements correspond to virtual shots fired, hits taken and last-minute dodging of ham.

According to Adekunle, the design of the robot and the online components come from his love of gaming and understanding of what makes it compelling. Reach will provide more online content to build the universe around the robots. The robot’s exterior can be embellished with different guns and shields that give it abilities in the virtual world.

The 2.2 pound devices can be ordered online for $329 each or two for $599.

 

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