Having finished with the construction of the various components, it was time to put everything together and go for a test drive. This is the first time we tested out our vehicle to see what the experience will be like:
We also invited a few others to have a go at it by asking them to perform various tasks. Over a couple of days we tried these experiments out. Below are snippets of each activity.
The First Task was to move forward and touch this pink ‘ADM’ block-letters sculpture in the lobby.
Nat and ZhouYang did a great job although they were new to this. There was a lot of collisions and bumping around as they could not see the area directly in front of them and they were heading in the same direction along a similar route.
The Second Task was to play ‘catch’.
We found that the participants enjoyed this activity the most. However one thing to be concerned was that they tend to move at rather fast speeds. The other thing that happened was the connection between the screen and webcams started to give problems. So although the onlookers quite enthusiastically pointed out the black player ‘catcher’ was not keeping her head in, it was really because she couldn’t see as the screen had disconnected.
The Third Task was to try to fix a puzzle.
This was the most difficult of the tasks. It would have been possible if they could use both cameras to look at the puzzle pieces, that way one hand could assist the other. So although the puzzle was a simple one with only 6 pieces to fit together, there was a lot of difficulty in doing so.
The Fourth Task was to have another race but the objective this time was to ‘fetch’.
We found that this was a bit more safer than playing ‘catch’ and that the participants had a clear goal to compete against each other. By separating their objectives away from each other we also prevented bumping.
Conclusion from First Tests
We learnt from them about the difficulties of seeing and manoeuvring with our vehicles. As well as the difficulties of performing those tasks they attempted. Hence in planning for the final presentation and the interactive situation we will place our participants in, we will take the lessons learnt from these couple of days into consideration.
One other thing that was brought to attention was that the strapping of the Webcams to the arm were in some cases loose. A suggestion given to us was that we might use velcro straps instead. So we will proceed to make the improvements to the straps as well.