GLAMi nomination: Artebots: Mobile Game

nominated by: Kristy von Moos, Canada Science and Technology Museum, Canada
institution: Canada Science and Technology Museum
category: Museum-Wide Guide or Program

The Canada Science and Technology Museum has opened its collection to gamers and tinkerers—thanks to an all-new, gamified augmented reality app, called Artebots. 

In developing this first-of-a-kind app for the Museum, the creators asked themselves: If visitors could build robots out of all the amazing artifacts at the Museum, what would they create?

This playful and novel approach led to a unique product that allows users to engage with the Museum’s collection in a fun and exciting, way not only in the exhibitions, but beyond the institution’s walls.

Using augmented reality, players can collect, test, explore, and create whatever they can imagine, using artifacts from the Museum’s extensive collection. The target audience is children ages eight-and-up and their families.

One of the artifacts visitors can choose to build their robot

Players are tasked with an important mission: defeat the evil Bot Crusher, who is threatening to destroy the Museum’s collection.

They can customize their robots using actual artifacts, then test their creations in different augmented reality challenges. From mountain climbing to space exploration, adventure awaits.

 Artebots Features

  • Choose from more than 40 unique artifacts
  • Play the King of the Hill Challenge and overcome five levels of difficulty
  • Explore your own environment in Free Mode
  • Unlock a new artifact with each challenge
  • Entertaining for kids and adults alike
  • Available in English and French
  • Still to come: New challenges and a player leaderboard

Artebots was developed by Ingenium, in partnership with the Montreal studio CREO.

International Outreach

Moving forward, the app will continue to offer updates with new challenges released to players at set intervals. Longer-term, partnerships are in the works to make Artebots available to an international audience for use in situ in other museums and cultural institutions, who would be able to modify and customize the app to reflect their visitors’ interests and their own unique collection.

The final piece of the international versioning of Artebots is to make the entire set of artifacts from all partner institutions available, so that a player in Paris could build their artebot with an artifact from Ottawa or a player in Vancouver could build their artebot using an object from The Hague, thus making multiple collections available and accessible to a public who might not have otherwise had the chance to engage with them in such a novel and playful way.