Lego Robot Plays Games For You As You Sleep


[Uli Kilian] — best known for solving 100 Rubik’s cubes during the 2011 London Marathon — got addicted to a free iPad game called Jurassic Park builder. Being the efficient man he is, he soon realized the game could be automated — after all, you just have to tap on dinosaurs every few minutes to earn in-game currency…

He’s using a Lego Technic set with an old iPad, and an Arduino connected to a Windows laptop. Wheels roll the iPad back and forth as the robot plays the game. The “finger” of the robot is wrapped in tin-foil and connected to a ground pin to simulate a human finger for the iPad. The article doesn’t explain how it works, but by looking at the robot it appears to just randomly tap away back and forth across the screen — which we guess works for this game?

He hasn’t played with Lego since he was 8, and only just learned about the Arduino a few weeks prior to building this. As a 3D artist he was intrigued to do something in the real-world — nice!

[Thanks Aurelio and William!]

19 thoughts on “Lego Robot Plays Games For You As You Sleep

    1. It says a lot about mobile games that people are building robots to avoid the tedium of actually playing them. It’s quite sad seeing people in the Youtube comments actually getting angry because he suffered less than they did. These games are very negative.

  1. This reminds me of using a rubber band to level up my characters in Final Fantasy 6’s rafting sequence.There’s nothing quite like making a game out of finding ways to not have to play a game.

  2. I did the same thing recently for Clash of Clans on the ipad. Although I did it with software. Jailbroken ipad, SSH in and send touch commands.

  3. I’d have the arm moving, not the ipad. Rolling side to side like that, it’s bound to lose it’s set point.

  4. I saw the title and started hoping that it was powered by one of the Mindstorms “power bricks”. Great project either way.

  5. “The article doesn’t explain how it works, but by looking at the robot it appears to just randomly tap away back and forth across the screen — which we guess works for this game?”

    “Kilian said the whole loop of tapping between 11 dinosaurs takes exactly five minutes, then it goes back to the start and repeats the process. “I put all the dinosaurs in one line [in the game’s virtual park landscape] and then set the distance between them equally so the arm can move between them easily.””

    1. That’s why I actually removed the game from my tablet today. Either you have to get all these in game purchases, or it will take you a very long time. Not very fun.

    2. “Strange game. Seems the only winning move is not to play.”

      WOPR can figure that out. So why can’t ugly bags of mostly water?

    1. If it was about cheating in the game, yes.
      But i guess, it is more fun, to build the robot, than watch it playing. Or play by myself. Or enjoying a good highscore.

      I did programm bots for games too.
      But as soon as they were working, i lost interest…

  6. I did the same thing for the same game, but in a less cool way, with android and monkeyrunner. There are two blog posts and video on it if you search for android game automation.
    It unlocks the tablet, starts the game, zeros the position and scans the complete world clicking everywhere in a pattern, quits the game. I went from level 30 something to 50-60 with this and some strategy, no buying.
    Anyway the game is crap, it crashed a lot and always downloaded ~80mb after a crash, the game assets. Complete waste of time and bandwidth.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s