Video game graphics have come a long way since their humble oscilloscope beginnings with Tennis for Two, and modern games are getting closer and closer to photorealism. But, virtual reality and augmented reality have proven that there is a market for more than just nice graphics — people want to be immersed in virtual worlds like they’re actually there. ARCO, now on Kickstarter, is designed to give you that experience by putting a physical robot into a virtual world.
ARCO is a “fully immersive AR gaming and learning experience” that combines robotics with augmented reality. The robot is a cute wheeled rover that’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. It stores a tiny remote control in its storage bay, which you can pop out to start driving ARCO around. That’s pretty fun in its own right, but the real magic happens when you launch the augmented reality companion app on your smartphone.
The app turns your phone into a viewfinder for the virtual world where ARCO gaming comes to life. In that world, you can use the little rover to fight battles against evil robots on far away planets, or solve puzzles in the ruins of alien temples. Kids can to learn to code ARCO, all within the augmented reality of game world. There is even an included pair of AR glasses you can use to step inside of the virtual landscape that ARCO inhabits.
ARCO just launched on Kickstarter, and the campaign is running until October 16th. A kit that includes the ARCO robot, app, AR glasses, and charging cable costs $99, or you can get two kits for $179. Rewards should ship in April 2019.