Flappy Bird-Playing Robot Outsmarts Humans
Two developers from the Shaanxi province of China wanted to prove that a robot could easily outwit humans when it comes to playing the short-lived addictive smartphone game that was Flappy Bird.
After this game became a phenomenon and disappeared suddenly both from Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store, various machines imitating it started appearing. Still, none is as impressive as the robot designed by Liu Yang and Shi Xuekun. In fact, this project is not imitating the game, but actually playing it on a tablet.
The robot that Yang and Xuekun built is indeed fascinating because of several reasons. First of all, its developers claim to have put it together in around 4 hours. If only they had come with the idea before the game vanished… However, this stands to show that talented people can turn ideas into tangible things in a very short time. Still, it was the simplicity of the design that enabled the two developers to make this robot in just a few hours.
The second jaw-dropping detail about the Flappy Bird-playing robot is that it was made using only a webcam, the arm of an old hard drive and the tip of a stylus. Who would have thought that kicking behinds at this game required such a little investment?
Ever since Vietnamese game developer Dong Nguyen removed his Flappy Bird from Play Store and App Store, a lot of clones based on the same principle sprung up. Google and Apple proceeded to banning all the apps containing the word ‘Flappy’ in their names, but some got through: Clumsy Bird, Floppy Bird, Clever Bird, and others. It’ll be interesting to see how Apple and Google will react to these.
As Chelsea Stark from Mashable suggests, there are plenty of other mobile games that have an addictive nature, some examples including Duet Game, Bee Leader, Impossible Road and What the Frog. While these made the list of recommendations simply because they can easily cause addiction, Flappy Doge, another game suggested by Chelsea, is a straight forward clone of Nguyen’s game. The latter should get some credit for including the Doge meme.
I’m shocked that no one thought of making a Flappy Bird clone featuring the Nyan Cat. Oh, wait!
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