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National Runner Up

Imagicly

Imagicly is a serious game to start into the world of robotics

  • Imagicly

  • Assembly of one Imagicly character.

    Assembly of one Imagicly character.

  • Graphic programming with the open source program Scratch.

  • Functions of the Robots

  • Functions of the Robots

  • Imagicly Family

What it does

Imagicly enables young people between 11-16 years to gain first experiences with robotics. Cardboard and 3D printed parts make it accessible and easy to start. The social robots help to connect among peers and boost their creativity.


Your inspiration

What will the world of tomorrow look like? What role will robots play in it? And what is a robot anyway? I am building on the potential of a younger generation and imparting basic knowledge on the subject. Adapted to young people, it empowers them to bring in their own visions, to learn, design and invent creatively. Because robots are exactly what we humans make them to be. Existing robotic toys on the market are usually designed for a male target group. They appear aggressive, have military elements or are very nerdy. This is the problem I am addressing.


How it works

The robot family is designed around the four basic characters, which can be combined and expanded as required thanks to the many interfaces and modules. The hurdle is deliberately kept low. The materials used and the technical layout of the sensors and actuators make it easier to get started with the topic. The cardboard box is the main body of all robots. It contains the main control board (Arduino), the battery and space for motors, sensors and other actuators. Once a robot has been assembled, it can be programmed with the open source program "Scratch". Most of the plastic parts can be 3D printed. So there is the potential to publish and exchange printable files in the community. Furthermore, it makes more ecological sense to produce the elements locally. The idea is that the cardboard body can be painted, glued and individualized with own handmade volumes. Developed with young people, it is tailored to their needs and interests.


Design process

I have noticed that robotic toys are very one-sided in their design and are often unsuitable for beginners in coding and their own experiments. My market analysis confirmed this. Together with experts in didactics, art education, robotics and game design I was able to take the essences to a good toy design. Those insights were the base for the design of Imagicly. A survey of the target group of young people between 11 and 16 years supported this. This target group is interesting, because from this age on it is possible to solve more complex problems and this is a good start in robotics. In the further step of ideation I was accompanied by a test group of six young people (3 girls and 3 boys). With them I discussed my ideas and tested the components of my toy . Due to the Corona virus personal meetings were unfortunately not possible and all of the testing was done remotely via video call. The current concept was iteratively improved in CAD and with physical models. The focus was on the flow experience during the game and the combination of the different actuators and sensors. In addition, various volume models were created as well as prototypes for the interface.


How it is different

While the comparable products mainly refer to the same target group and thus appeal to nerds and players interested in competitive games (mostly male), Imagicly focuses on the player type of the socializer. Thus, the exchange between the players is very important. This is achieved through a community. Furthermore, the robots can be connected to each other via Wifi and therefore extend their range of abilities. This stimulates the young people to exchange ideas and develop new ones together. This special asset has no other robotic toy. Imagicly also focusses on the low entry hurdle into the field of robotics. Another innovative aspect is that the parts of Imagicly are open source, thus enabling more people access to robotics.


Future plans

In recent months, the focus has been on developing the concept and reviewing individual processes. However, the complete system has not yet been assembled and tested. This will be my next step. This will be followed by user tests in school classes. This could help to determine which steps are clear to the people and which require a simpler interface or more explanation.


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