Microsoft
Delta Bot

Delta_ButtonPress

We partnered with Microsoft to showcase their AI technology in an engaging, gamified format

The Challenge

Microsoft, a pioneer in teaching machines to learn from and respond to the physical world, partnered with us to develop a promotional hardware piece for the Autonomous Systems group. They needed a bold platform to deploy, test, and interact with AI models created with Project Bonsai.

Our Solution

Together, we created an interactive public demonstration for a trade show using an existing delta-type robot. The Autonomous Systems group was beginning its entry into the experiential hardware space. The system is intended to feature in Microsoft stores and events, so the robot had to coexist in this environment with other Microsoft product families. The showcase is a first-of-its-kind robotic air hockey table that gamifies interaction with intelligent control systems.
Our team of designers, developers, and engineers worked holistically to deliver Microsoft a prototype that materializes traditionally simulated AI development efforts into tangible experiences accessible to a broad audience.

Key Contributors

Tanim Islam
Tanim Islam
Dean Fortier
Dean Fortier
Richard Johnson
Richard Johnson
Scotty Paton
Scotty Paton
M Kusold
M Kusold
Nissa Van Meter
Nissa Van Meter
Sam Sanders
Sam Sanders
Terence Tam
Terence Tam
Grant Ritter
Grant Ritter
Vishal Prabhu
Vishal Prabhu
Erik Lindstrom
Erik Lindstrom
Li Ding
Li Ding
Hunter Fite
Hunter Fite
Fraser Midstokke
Fraser Midstokke
Avinash Singh
Avinash Singh
Nathan Turin-Mead
Nathan Turin-Mead
Sean Patterson
Sean Patterson
Ryan Ottinger
Ryan Ottinger
Mitch Tolson
Mitch Tolson
Jeff Bick
Jeff Bick
Justin Brunson
Justin Brunson
Matthew MacKay
Matthew MacKay
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Augmenting Air Hockey with AI

Autonomous systems are capable of sensing and dynamically responding to changing environments to accomplish desired goals. When designed with a focus on people, AI can extend capabilities and help increase successful outcomes.

With classic air hockey at its heart, we embedded the latest systems and autonomous technologies without affecting the original two-player experience. From the moment you approach the table, each touchpoint is re-envisioned to bring air hockey into the 21st century. The traditional coin slot and 8-segment scoreboards have turned into touchscreen control panels and ultrawide high-definition displays. We followed a high contrast, orthogonal design language blended with subtle references to the retro arcade space. A user experiences reactive lighting, custom animations, and sound effects from a Bose speaker system during gameplay.

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Accounting for human interaction

With an X-Y gantry, auto and manual modes, Xbox controller integration, a high-speed camera, and auxiliary webcams for puck tracking and social media streaming, the experience creates a sense of immersion, showcasing the power of AI and human-machine interaction.

But while the AI technologies that power the system can shift the way we play games and interact with machines, the Fresh team also planned for human-to-human connection, which will always be essential. The Delta Bot lets you toggle between Auto Mode and Manual Mode via a Microsoft Xbox Adaptive Controller. By switching to Manual Mode, another person can control the Delta Arms with an Xbox Joystick, providing more ways to play.

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