Uli Kilian has designed a Lego Technics robot to play freemium games. More specifically, the Arduino Uno-powered (Atmel ATmega328 MCU) ‘bot plays Jurassic Park Builder, a title that requires the user to remain active (or tap) every few minutes. In addition to the Atmel-based Uno, key project specs include an old iPad mounted on top of Technics wheels.
“It’s a really nice game with nice graphics. But I thought you could easily automate the tapping,” Kilian, a senior art director at UK-based medical animation studio Random 42 told Wired UK’s Nate Lanxon.
“The last time I did anything with Lego was when I was eight, and I’ve never done anything with Technic. I heard about the [Arduino] boards two weeks before and I knew I was going on holiday. I’m a 3D artist so all the stuff I do is virtual and I really wanted to do something in the real world, and I’d never done anything with micro-controllers before.”
In Jurassic Park Builder, dinosaurs have different time periods during which they offer money. Simply put, the more regularly you load the game up and tap the dinosaur, the more you earn.
“One [dino kicks in] after five minutes – you tap him and get points. Another is every ten minutes; another every 15 minutes and so on. But you might want to sleep. At that time, that’s when the automation kicks in,” Kilian explained.
“I put all the dinosaurs in one line [in the game’s virtual park landscape] and then set the distance between them equally so the arm can move between them easily.”
Interested in learning more? You can read Wired’s full write up here.