Back in 2005-2006 I was writing my masters thesis at the University of Århus. I was studying was if using a high level language would be useful for programming embedded systems like the LEGO RCX. I used JAVA as the high level language. Java can be run on the RCX using the LeJOS firmware and classes.
To see if this really had any effect on development time I had to do some sort of practical project that would also include a bit of robotics and embedded systems. Why not make something fun? A game where a bunch of robots whould bash the hell out of each other seemed like a good idea…
During development the game caught a lot of attention. My guess is that its probably because it was one of the few computer science projects that people can actually just look at and think: “This is fun/cool/whatever.” Most other computer science projects require you to read a bunch of pages, only to realize that O(n^2) can now be done in O(n)… or something boring like that.
Anyway, the game was put on display a bunch of times at the university and at the nearby Steno Museum. This also allowed me to get a lot of test data, and have some real life material to put in the thesis.
In early 2006 the WONDERS project needed some science from Denmark that involved robotics, and I was asked if I would want to be part of the show in Luxemburg. Of course I went there with them, and this presentation turned out to be a great finale for my thesis… that I had to turn in, just 5 days after the event.
Half a year later the danish WONDERS crew, including me, was picked to go to Israel to show of the projects once again. This time it was for an entire week so I quickly did a bit of coding fixing a few bugs and tweaking the game experience. It was great to see the game running as a real attraction with almost all the “prototype feel” finally gone.
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