Looking like a mix of Ghost in the Shell spider tank and the fantastical sketches you used to doodle during maths class, Reach Robotics' MekaMon - which T3 first reported on at CEATEC 2017 (opens in new tab) - has entered the premium toy market with a loaded arsenal.
Dubbed a "real-life gaming robot", the MekaMon is a smartphone-connected AR toy that allows its owner to play a number of games, both solo and multiplayer, either in the real world or in augmented reality.
Here's a hype-a-rific official video showing some gaming scenarios:
Each MekaMon measures in at 11.8in x 11.8in x 5.9in, weighs 2.2lb and is powered by rechargeable battery pack that delivers at least one hour of non-stop operation before needing a recharge.
Once the MekaMon or MekaMons are powered up and connected to a companion smartphone app, the type of operation or game mode can be selected by the user. These include simple free play, allowing operators to move the MekaMon where and how they wish (via virtual thumbsticks and pre-programmed commands), solo gameplay modes that see the player using the MekaMon to fight off virtual on-screen enemies, or multiplayer modes where two players try to outmanoeuvre each other and disable each other's unit.
For each of these the operator of the MekaMon is using their smartphone to control the robot, issue commands and fire its weaponry, while if they are in a AR game mode it is through the screen that they see threats.
A good example of a solo AR game mode is Meteoroids (check out image gallery above) which tasks the player with using their MekaMon to destroy a series of incoming meteoroids that can be seen on the phone screen. As such the player has to move their robot in the real world to navigate the combat zone on their smartphone and prosper.
The MekaMon has been designed to be modular, with parts like legs, armour, weapons and more customisable and upgradeable. Add larger pieces of armour to the MekaMon's legs for example and it can last longer in a fire fight before getting damaged. Equally, by swapping the weapons bolted to the MekaMon's exoskeleton you can vary the available attacks in-game.
While the base MekaMon package comes with a selection of armour and weaponry, Reach Robotics also intends to deliver many more additional parts and upgrades too going forward, meaning that the potential loadouts for each robot could be very diverse if taken up.
Reach Robotics (opens in new tab)' Mekamon is available now from Apple.com (opens in new tab), select Apple stores in the US and UK, as well as MekaMon.com (opens in new tab) for £299.95. For more information about MekaMon hardware, then check out the robot's technical specifications page (opens in new tab).
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