If Flappy Bird is any indication, playing an addictive mobile game might be fun at first, but can quickly become all-consuming. You could easily spend hours or days trying to beat your best friend’s high score, so why not use a little technology for an edge?
That’s exactly what Tom Randle did with the Leap Sheep game on his iPad: It took three separate efforts, but Shephard built a small robot to play Leap Sheep for him. And the robot is really good at it. Here’s a peek at what it looks like, tapping the iPad display each time a sheep needs to leap over a fence:
[vimeo 86780818 w=500 h=281]
How good is it at playing the game? It’s not perfect… yet, says Randle:
“My original aim was to build a robot that was better at playing the game than a human. At the moment it’s not quite there.
The longest I’ve had it running continuously so far is about 5 minutes: 110 sheep. Occasionally it just misses a very fast or slow sheep, and because the solenoids are fixed there’s no way for it to recover. I’m sure with a bit more tweaking I can get it to do much better, but I may have to add a second row of LDRs to more accurately measure the speed of each sheep.”
I’ve never played Leap Sheep but I do still have Flappy Bird installed. Maybe it’s time to bust out the LEGO Mindstorms kit? I’m sure I could build a robot that beats my meager high score of 6!