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