Week 14

Hello everyone! We are now in the final stretch for the project having completed 14 weeks of design and development. We’ll discuss some feedback that we received recently and our plans for the future.

Soft Opening

On Monday, November 28, all the ETC projects had a Soft Opening. A soft opening is similar to a preview or a beta release. In all cases, it refers to “we believe it is fully ready” but also carries the acknowledgement that it probably has a few kinks that should be ironed out, but can only be ironed out by showing it to real customers, in allegedly finished form. During Soft Opening, the faculty (and anybody else who would like to join) wander from room to room and give feedback. Guests from the industry and friends of the ETC often join these walk-around.

Each group of faculty would visit in a 20 minute slot and we showed them three experiences during this period:

  1. One board game – Tapatan or Horseshoe
  2. Story game – Dating Cozmo
  3. Tech demo – Treasure hunt using Unreal

The faculty members enjoyed the experiences and appreciated the evolution of our project over the semester. Some critical feedback that we received was:

  1. Show how our demos relate to our goals
  2. Share lessons learned on what works and not
  3. Show Cozmo’s capabilities and personality clearly
  4. Discuss the recommendations for the SDK

These will be our key areas of focus as we prepare for final presentations in Week 16. Some faculty members also offered good advice for small finishing touches we could add to our individual experiences that would help polish them further.

Publishing our work

A major aspect of ETC projects is to publicize our work and showcase it to a wide audience outside of the ETC. For our project, we are planning to share our work with the Cozmo developer community on the forums. In Week 15, we will be sharing roughly 4 prototypes every day along with a write-up explaining technical details, what we wanted to accomplish and all that we learned from developing that particular experience.

Keep an eye out for our posts in the Cozmo Showcase!

ETC Festival ’16

There is another big event lined up before the final presentations! In week 15, the ETC will be hosting its Fall Festival for 2016! This is an invitation only event where the department showcases the body of work done over projects and BVW during this semester. It’s an exciting event for both the guests and the members of the ETC! To give you a better idea, here’s a glimpse from recent festivals:

The festival will be another great opportunity for team Cozplay to show off their work and we hope to gain some invaluable feedback and media footage for all of our experiences. Since throughput is a major parameter in the success of this display, we are currently planning on changing the layout of our project room in order to have multiple stations for guests to interact with Cozmo. We also need to consider partitioning the space effectively so that one experience does not interfere with the other as we learned from previous playtests. The final experiences like the story game have a lot of audio and require the undivided attention of the guest. Thus, we plan to have it running at a scheduled time for all the guests in 15 or 20 minute intervals.

We are really excited for the festival as we’ll also get to meet our friends from Anki in-person! We’ll keep you updated with our progress as we wrap-up this semester!