Thursday, 21 October 2010

#mlearn2010 Sci-Droid by Maurizio, Claire and Gertrude

Great stuff, this was presented by three third year university students.

primary school environment, so they developed an application for 8 -10 youngsters learning: human body game (all parts of the body) and chemical reaction game (teaches them on chemical reactions).

Android 1.5 for java and XML (HTC magic). Object recognition done by computer algorithm's and picture manipulation. Android for Eclipse (link to android post).

Literature: augmented reality and openGL.

Game design: the user chooses which games they will play.

the user takes a picture of the torso of a person, then the body parts are put upon it by the mobile, via the mobile screen. By clicking on the image, the organ and its functionality are shown.

For chemical reaction game. Open GL recognizes the android marker. The android marker must be placed before the marker and the user chooses the appropriate object from the screen. The accelerometer is used to see how the mobile is tilted and how much (spilling of object for example).

Main problem: accelerometer was not part of the emulator, so testing could not be completed completely. Difficult to identify the person in the picture (specific picture of the body, this was solved by an algorithm). Objects need to be refreshed many times, slowing down the game. Some features could be improved (important: optimize the image taken, it does not pick up a body, but an object, so the organs might be placed wrongly).
For chemical game the marker gave a problem as soon as it was no longer in the screen, or recognizable.

Conclusion: positive feedback of the children.

Abstract of the paper as mentioned in the proceedings:
The mobile industry is evolving fast and mobile phones are nowadays also very popular with people of a very young age. Sci-Droid is a project which was mainly aimed for educational purposes so as to teach young children aged from eight to ten about basic science. Using Android OS the project consisted of creating two games so as to teach students about both the organs of the body and basic chemicals which they can meet during their everyday life. This type of application is very useful in schools since it is fun and educational at the same time, making student want to play it whilst educating one self.