Projects for the Innovation Challenge

Hey everyone! For our team, the most interesting, but the most challenging part of our season was the process of brainstorming ideas for the Innovation and Game Design Challenges. I’ve just viewed a topic about your GDC projects, but iirc there’s no discussion about the Innovation Challenge. So we just wonder what your projects for the challenge are?

I’ll start. My team, FRC team 7851 from Kyiv, Ukraine, decided to present a project that will urge global society to travel without leaving their home’s borders. V-Roadway is a home VR bike simulator. The mobile app associated with the exercise bike creates virtual routes to all famous places and cities globally. Thus, adapting to the rider’s speed, the program projects the image and sound onto the VR-helmet device. This project will become an exciting alternative for everyone from amateurs to professional athletes.

The technology we offer is a combination of software and hardware that allows you to experience pre-engineered worlds in virtual reality. At the same time, you train on a stationary bike or treadmill. It can let you explore other countries or even fantasy worlds from Coruscant to Hogwarts with the comfort of your home.

Our project consists of several parts that create an overall network that is capable of upgrading your simulator. Smart bracelets attached to the leg while cycling and the arm while running receive information about the intensity of movement and body indicators and transmit. With the help of Bluetooth, this information is sent to a specially developed application on the user’s device. The application processes the data, converts it into speed according to the route, and displays the image on compact VR glasses, creating a complete immersion in the virtual world. The lightweight VR helmet is attached to the head with elastic straps, guarantees ease of use, and will not interfere with active body movements
Thanks to the many servers, the user can choose a group workout with strangers or create a personal server for cycling with friends. It will complement the visualization of the real world while doing sports.

What about you?


I tried this thread a while ago with no luck! You can see our submission in that thread if you’re interested though!

I’m guessing some (many?) teams are holding their silence for now because of intellectual property concerns. My team ended up designing a mobile game that incorporates real-life exercise, but I don’t want to say any more yet because we’re leaning towards actually taking the game all the way to launch, and there’s not really any effective IP protection for game ideas. If a lot of teams are considering actually turning their ideas into products, even if their ideas are patentable they probably haven’t filed yet.

This idea of secrecy has always bothered me. It bothers me within FRC and it bothers me in a lot of situations in the real world. There are absolutely scenarios in which companies need to maintain trade secrets, file patents, and generally protect their IP.

For the vast majority of situations I believe founders of startup companies greatly benefit from sharing their concept with as many people as possible. The benefits you recieve from direct feedback stemming from conversations about your product/service greatly outweigh the potential for somebody to steal your idea and beat you to market.

To paraphrase @scottkdavis “stealth mode is death mode for startups”.

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We are engaging lots of playtesters, and having conversations with people outside the team about our game. We presented at a pitch party a couple weeks ago with a handful of other teams, and are thinking about doing another one. As we get farther along we’ll release a little more information, maybe eventually we’ll even put out a call on CD for playtesters. When the game comes out, we’ll be an open book about the game mechanics, development process, business plan, etc.

There’s a middle ground between complete secrecy and publishing the details your innovation on the internet for everyone in the world to see, when you’re still in a relatively early stage of development. Especially since game publishers often balk at getting involved with games that have released a ton of information online prior to launch.

@snichols You are doing the right things with exposing your idea. Expose as much as you can in person to create connections that might help you to success, but avoid anonymous distribution of the idea.

I’ve owned and run a mobile massively-multiplayer location-based game for over 10 years. I have also spent over $10K to get a gaming patent, which in retrospect is probably worthless.

I’m happy to offer advice if you like. There are tons of problems in gaming. Had I known about them before publishing my game, I would have done many things differently, and possibly not at all. It is a very difficult place to make a living, but it is possible to see some success if you have the right expectations and are very lucky.

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Thanks Scott! Right now we’re focused on preparing & practicing for the interview, but I would love to have you talk with our team later this spring or summer. I’ll reach out when we start getting back into the actual game development.

Hi there! 4499 has submitted for the Innovation Challenge and we have our interview on Saturday. We would like to share our innovative idea.

Did you know that over the past 10 years, the fatality rate of pedestrians has increased by 53% in the US? In our home state of Colorado, we have seen an 89% increase compared to the last decade. Distracted driving has caused 20% of the car-involved incidents. You should not need to worry about a car endangering your safety while crossing the street, exercising along the roadways, or enjoying a peaceful walk around your neighborhood. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a way of notifying motorized vehicles that you, as a pedestrian, are on the road? Wouldn’t you feel better knowing that cars would be aware of your location and presence on the road? Personally, I would be more motivated to get out and enjoy some fresh air with a stroll in the evening, with the peace of mind knowing cars are alerted about my presence. How might we do this? The Highlanders, FRC team 4499, proposes a solution to improve the safety of Vulnerable Road Users (VRU). We will strengthen the mental and physical health of walkers, cyclists, runners, wheelchair users, people crossing the street at intersections, and all other non-motorized road users with our solution.

Solving this problem starts by making exercising as a pedestrian safer. We present VRUM, Vulnerable Road Users Mission. Our solution is to make exercising as a pedestrian safer and to leverage technologies used by connected/automated vehicle (CAV). We want to take this one step further and make this notification available to all road users, not just CAVs. Whether in a car or exercising in your neighborhood, people carry cell phones with GPS that can log location, speed and heading. The USDOT (US Department of Transportation) and SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) have developed standards for messaging formats to communicate with CAVs and other motorists for general traffic information and weather notification. One of these messages, a Personal Safety Message (PSM), is a message that describes a non-motorist location, heading and speed, will be generated from the VRU and sent to the cloud to make this information available to any motor vehicle with a smartphone app. We will construct the ability to self-generate PSMs, send them to the cloud, process them and make the message available for smartphones in vehicles for an audible notification to the motorist that a VRU nearby. Everyone’s location and personally identifiable information (PII) will remain anonymous.

To solve the problem of pedestrian safety, we will develop a system that connects pedestrians to vehicles using a combination of technologies. These technologies include cell phones, a cross-platform mobile application, cloud storage, and computing, IMUs, GPS, SAE J2735 message standards with SAE 2945/9 implementations. With these resources, we would develop a messaging system to send and receive PSMs between pedestrians and vehicles. The mobile application will generate PSMs and audibly notify motorists of pedestrians nearby. In the future CV, AV and companies like Waze and HERE can use this information for predictive pedestrian analysis and avoidance.

What do you think?

It’s a very neat idea! My first question would be “how will you encourage a large number of drivers to download the application?” It seems like something that would need to be adopted on a large scale to have a large impact.

One idea for you would be to partner with insurance companies to get drivers a break on their insurance rates if they actively use your application.

My next questions would relate to your business model and how you plan to make money with this concept.

Ahh…GREAT questions. This is an initial proof of concept, but the messaging platform would actually be built into mobile devices and automatically detect when a person is “exercising along the roadway” and when a motor vehicle is in the area. This would integrate into a current connected and automated vehicle technologies. The manual use of the mobile devices is just a platform to develop this messaging platform. This platform would then be used GOOGLE, HERE and WAZE. I have attached their project document that explains this a bit better.

Great idea on partnering with insurance companies! I will pass that along to them!

Business model…great question. Well, yes this does not show an actual product to sell but after creating this proof of concept, it can be leveraged to apply for USDOT grants to build applications for vulnerable road users. So what they are “selling” is their service/skills.

VRUM Application Project description

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