LEGO Robot Helps Its Creator Cheat at Freemium iPad Games

Three years after solving 100 Rubik cube puzzle while running in the London marathon, Uli Kilian, a senior art director at UK-based medical animation studio Random 42, built a LEGO robot that helps him make coins in freemium iPad games.

Mobile games are awesome until you discover that you need to spend some real-world money to unlock certain features. The alternative? Spending endless days trying to raise the gold necessary for building more structures or for buying more animals. The game in question is the iPad version of Jurassic Park Builder, a freemium app that can get quite frustrating if you decide not to pay for the extra features.

Kilian explained why he decided to build this LEGO Technics Arduino robot: “It’s a really nice game with nice graphics, but I thought you could easily automate the tapping.”

The builder also admitted to not having played with LEGO Technics since he was a child: “The last time I did anything with Lego was when I was eight, and I’ve never done anything with Technic. I heard about the [Arduino] boards two weeks before and I knew I was going on holiday. I’m a 3D artist so all the stuff I do is virtual and I really wanted to do something in the real world, and I’d never done anything with micro-controllers before.”

The reasons for frustration and what motivated Killian to automate the task were detailed next: “One [dino] is after five minutes — you tap him and get points. Another is every ten minutes; another every 15 minutes, and so on. But you might want to sleep. At that time, that’s when the automation kicks in. 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.”

Killian also explained that he would love to expand this project, but other aspects of his life that cannot be neglected prevent him to do that: “The trouble is I don’t have very much time. I have a baby boy at home and a great job doing 3D stuff. I have many ideas of how to make it better. The first would be to get it working in more directions, and make it quicker.”

Not long ago, a Flappy Bird robot was spotted on the Web, so Kilian is not exactly the first one to think about game automation. Still, this doesn’t mean that his approach isn’t impressive!

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