Augmented reality is a big deal now, and as such, we must decide on what it can be used for. We've long seen the use of AR slowly growing into something more substantial, so it should be no surprise to see it being used with robots and a smartphone.
A company has come up with an interesting spider-robot known as MekaMon. It's a robot controlled by a smartphone, and when viewed from the phone's touchscreen, the user can see a virtual battlefield. From here, the user can fight virtual enemies using lasers and missiles, and that's the main aspect of this device.
To make the whole thing more interesting and immersive, the creators decided to add a backstory, which what they call the "Mekamon Universe". It's basically a large singleplayer campaign where users use their MekaMon to survive attacks from multiple enemies within the space.
Folks can even have some fun in multiplayer battles, but this do away with the AR component. Having two MekaMon robots in a room going head-to-head sounds like a blast, but we won't know how well things could play out if AR was brought into play here.
Can It Be Connected To A TV?
Not everyone wants to play their games on a smartphone screen, which is probably the reason the creators of MekaMon decided to allow the smartphone to connect to a larger screen. At the end of the day, however, users are still required to control the robot using their smartphone as the main controller.
How About Customization?
Owners will have the option to attach new hardware to the robot to improve its capabilities. For example, a shied, weapon, or MekaCore can be added, but from what we've come to understand, owners of the robot will have to purchase them separately.
Is MekaMon Expensive?
By looking at the robot, one might believe it would cost a mere $100 or $150 to own. However, such is not the case here. The price is $329, so it's not just a typical toy. If you're looking to get your hand on two of these spider-robots, then it's possible to pick up the $599 "Ultimate Battle Pack".
For those who are wondering, MekaMon is built by a company known as Reach Robotics, and this is the fruit of three-years of hard work. The product will ship come June 2017, which is a long time away from now.
We should note that the MekaMon is only capable of delivering 1-hour of gameplay on a single charge. Furthermore, the leg design is modular, so it is easily replaceable if they are damaged.
Augmented reality appears to be taking off after years of stagnation. The Snapchat Spectacles looks fine, and the Microsoft HoloLens seems to be a winner in the making. Even Apple is reportedly planning its own AR device for a future release.