GamePRo started as a home project just for fun. As the designer, I wanted to build a robot that could control a gaming console and be programmed to perform certain in game tasks that are repetitive and cumbersome to do by hand.
I built a device that uses a webcam to monitor the events on the console screen and can react by mechanically pushing the console buttons. I programmed the device to be able to carry out specific tasks unattended and posted a video to Youtube. That video now has more than 50,000 views and I have had many messages and comments from viewers who would like to purchase the device.
This was the beginning of the GamePRo, and since then I have been developing a version suitable for manufacturing, as well as adding new functions and programs for prototype models. With the support of backers on Kickstarter I will be able to complete the design and tooling for manufacturing the GamePRo.
Risks and challenges
Perhaps the biggest risk for the GamePRo is failing to meet user expectations in terms of reliability and functionality. The GamePRo developers have an engineering background and have put significant effort and time into the development of a robust design. They have conducted prototype testing to prove design concepts and will carry out further beta testing with a final manufactured project before its release.
As with any venture there is a risk of stalling and failure due to insufficient cash flow. This risk is somewhat limited by the relatively small start up costs of the GamePRo, but it is further minimized by taking pre-orders (with payment) before manufacturing units. This ensures minimal cash is tied up in inventory.
The software element presents a challenge with the GamePro. The GamePRo unit can be programmed by end users however not every end user will have the ability to do this. It is our intention to make all of our programs written to date (and in the future) available to end users. However we encourage users to write their own programs and would like to create a forum/website where users can share their programs. The GamePRo uses the Arduino IDE which is a well-established and free platform.
- (30 days)