MY ROBOT MISSION
Fun learning app that kept kids who were home-schooling occupied during Covid lockdowns
UK Research and Innovation, Science Museum, Sky, University of Exeter
Augmented Reality, Learning, Science Engagement, Future of Museums
Augmented Reality, Unity MARS, Plane Detection, 3D Asset Creation
To find a way for new technologies to help kids stuck at home during Covid lockdowns to learn and for Museums to reach audiences while their buildings were shut.
FACTORY 42 ROLE
CONCEPT, DESIGN AND BUILD
Created the overall concept and design and delivered all art, interactions, animations, code and gameplay.
My Robot Mission AR was created by 42 Kids in partnership with the Science Museum Group and is a free cutting-edge app for children aged 10-12 years old. It was designed to provide fun science-based learning about robots for kids at home as an innovative response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
My Robot Mission AR is available to download from the AppStore as well as Google Play using the links above.
The user experience:
In the app, users are part of Robot Academy, with their mission being to use their skills to create unique robots suited to different terrains and challenges. The app integrates the latest augmented reality (AR) technology to seamlessly blend the digital and physical worlds. Users create and test robots against the backdrop of a floor or garden.
Through this skills-based experience, users must build robots that are ready to operate in simulated environments. Then they work through a series of fun and repeatable challenges to help change the world and shape the future with robots that can respond to the hazards and challenges of a rapidly changing planet.
The app is narrated by popular science presenters Maddie Moate and Greg Foot, known for engaging kids with science via platforms including the BCC and YouTube.
The collaboration was funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and explored new types of digital, home-based cultural and learning experiences as part of the Boundless Creativity programme, a major new campaign created and supported by UKRI’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
What the partners said:
“We want as many young people as possible to be inspired by the creativity and wonder of science. Through gameplay and immersive technologies, problem-solving skills can be nurtured and curiosity can be ignited about the world of science, technology and engineering.”
John Stack, Digital Director, Science Museum Group
John Cassy, Founder and CEO of Factory 42, added: “With museums having to adapt to the challenges of the pandemic, we are proud to have responded by very rapidly developing a playful, creative and innovative way for children to engage with and learn about science from home. We are very grateful to Innovate for its support in enabling Factory 42 to expand and begin innovating in the fast-growing children's interactive content market. New immersive technologies like augmented reality provide an incredible opportunity to think differently about how to introduce young audiences to science and the natural world and we hope children will enjoy the experiences the apps offer.”
UK Research and Innovation challenge director, Andrew Chitty, said: “The Covid pandemic has been an enormous challenge to all of the Audience of the Future projects who were planning live experiences during 2020. The My Dino Mission AR and My Robot Mission AR augmented reality apps demonstrate the incredible agility, creativity and innovation needed to meet that challenge by creating experiences that can reach new audiences at home. Live experiences will return but our world-class creative industries have shown they can continue to create striking new ones to captivate the public’s imagination and help grow the UK’s global, market-leading position in creative content whatever the circumstances. And it’s just one of the ways in which we’re investing for impact.”
Maddie Moate, YouTuber and BAFTA-winning presenter, said: “I am on a mission to spark curiosity about the wonders of science and technology learning. So I’m thrilled to have narrated these fun, new apps that bring children closer to the fascinating worlds of dinosaurs and robotics.”
Greg Foot, BBC science broadcaster and popular YouTuber, commented: “I’m so excited about these innovative AR apps and it’s a pleasure to have my voice as part of them! They give children the opportunity to put themselves in the shoes of engineers and palaeontologists and experience how they go about inventing and discovering."