Picodroid - Full Body Physics
In the Summer and Fall semesters of 2011, two teams of NIU students, subject matter experts, and coaches designed and developed a video game using the Microsoft's XBox 360 Kinect interface technology to engage middle and high-school students in fundamentals of physics and chemistry using their bodies rather than a game controller to navigate through a world filled with subatomic particles while they build elements.
The purpose of the Picodroid project was to produce a physics-based, kinesthetic video game that utilizes Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Kinect interactive controller technology. With Kinect, the user controls the game play through the movement of their body and the sound of their voice. NIU students who participated on the design and development teams came from Physics, Art, Instructional Technology, and Computer Science and worked together on game concepts, story, interface, and assets, resulting in the game named Picodroid. The students were challenged to develop a game or games in which middle- and high-school player/learners would use basic physics concepts in a fun and interesting way, at the same time standing and moving their bodies instead of sitting at desks in the classroom.
The result of this process was Picodroid, a futuristic competitive game that engages students in basic physics and chemistry concepts using their bodies to control nano robots to collect subatomic particles, build elements, and win the game.
Watch the demo:
Atom Bots Gamplay Footage:
In December 2011, the final game was presented to a large audience and is available free of charge to educators. Play requires a Kinect® camera, Windows Kinect SDK v1.6 and a Windows 7 PC.
For more information about this project, or to learn how you can get a mobile tour for your historical site, contact:
Director of the Digital Convergence Lab
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
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Images from our interactive
XBox Kinect window!