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My Dino Mission AR and My Robot Mission AR

The Natural History Museum and Science Museum Group partner to support the launch of free cutting-edge apps for children, in innovative response to coronavirus

Two augmented reality mobile apps give access to fun science-based learning about dinosaurs and robots from home

Two of the UK’s most iconic museum groups have joined forces with leading immersive content studio, Factory 42, to support the launch of two new fun science-based learning apps as they explore how science and culture can also be accessed digitally during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The My Dino Mission AR and My Robot Mission AR apps are created by 42 Kids, a newly launched children’s and learning division of Factory 42 in partnership with the Science Museum Group, Natural History Museum, Sky and Almeida Theatre. The apps use cutting-edge AR technology and graphics enabling children to use their own reasoning to interact with, identify and care for a dinosaur species; and to create their own robots suited for different terrains and challenges.

The apps are narrated by popular science presenters Maddie Moate and Greg Foot, known for engaging kids with science via platforms including the BBC and YouTube.

The new collaboration is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and explores new types of digital, home based cultural and learning experiences as part of the Boundless Creativity programmes, a major new campaign created and supported by UKRI’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The apps represent a new ‘pivot approach’ to collaborations for both museums in response to the pandemic, by exploring digital, home based alternatives to location-based experiences that were originally due to premiere across 2020. The Science Museum Group has partnered on My Robot Mission AR – a skills-based app for 10-12 year olds, while the Natural History Museum is partnering with My Dino Mission AR, which encourages 7-10 year olds to identify, feed and photograph a young dinosaur.

Alex Burch, Head of Public Programmes at the Natural History Museum said, “We’re delighted to be collaborating across industry to explore new, innovative technology in these unprecedented times, whilst continuing to provide our young audiences a window into the world of dinosaurs.”

John Stack, Digital Director, Science Museum Group 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 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"

Both apps are available to download from the AppStore as well as Google Play at the links below: My Dino Mission AR - AppStore and Google Play / My Robot Mission AR - AppStore and Google Play

What each app does

About My Dino Mission AR

My Dino Mission AR is aimed at the 7-10-year-old age group and enables budding young palaeontologists to help a stranded dinosaur get back to its own time period many millions of years ago. Combining the latest augmented reality technology with STEM skills, children can recognise a dinosaurs’ species, what it eats, likes and needs to survive. Young explorers can care for and capture fun photos of themselves interacting with their new dinosaur friend in the backdrop of their home or back garden.

About My Robot Mission AR

My Robot Mission AR is a new skills-building app aimed at 10-12-year-olds, encouraging them tothink like a real scientist. Combining a series of fun challenges and the latest augmented realitytechnology, players create robots ready to operate in simulated environments, from deserts tosnowy mountainous terrain, to help overcome future world problems. Budding engineers can taketheir robot through its paces within the backdrop of their home or back garden, honingproblem-solving skills in the process.


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