One week ago, we loaded our rented van with kids, chicken crafts, and our HTC Vive, and headed off to the San Mateo Maker Faire. Sunday night we returned with far fewer button-making materials, tired and happy kids, and an Editor's Choice blue ribbon for our project, Chicken VR!
First, a little backstory on Chicken VR:
At Black Pine Circle School, we're obsessed with chickens. In the science room, there is a chicken calendar, multiple chicken posters, and each of our non-Chromebook computers are named after chicken breeds. The 7th grade science class hatches chickens just about every year, but these birds usually are returned to the farm after a couple of weeks. Until last year, when the garden educator and some students got together to build a chicken coop. After a 2017-year end ceremony, we now have chickens living on campus.
When we were brainstorming for East Bay Mini Maker Faire, we wanted something chicken-related, but also tech-related, with a maker element. We had recently bought our HTC Vive (a few months ago) and wanted to learn more about developing software for it. This is how we got the idea for Chicken VR. It's a first person chicken simulator in virtual reality. You can walk around, eat, drink, and lay eggs.
Our first step was research.
As with any good project, we wanted to see what was already out there. We searched the Internet and was momentarily crushed to discover that a Oculus Rift Chicken Simulator already existed! Though it has some really interesting features, we knew we wanted to personalize our first-person chicken experience to match our chickens at BPC. Plus, the Vive would allow users to walk around in real space, instead of having to sit in a chair.
Another project, Second Livestock, from Iowa State University assistant professor Austin Stewart "imagines how VR goggles could make chickens believe they’re free-range, even when they’re not. They can explore a virtual grassland, and with future iterations of Oculus, even peck at the ground and bob their heads around to take in the landscape at different angles." (via TechCrunch) Strange, right?
There is also a Virtual Chicken Coop, "the most realistic chicken coop simulator on scratch, currently featuring 10 different breeds of chickens!"
But, we believed we had something different. Besides, can there be too much Chicken VR?
Building Chicken VR
We used TinkerCAD to create the wings out of simple shapes. These wings are attached to the controllers and you can flap and teleport. We used Fusion 360 to create the virtual model modeled off our actual school coop.
|Designing the coop in Fusion 360|
- It should be less 3d
- Make it more reelistik
- You should be abel to lay eggs
- Other chicken friends for me to be with
Version 2: 2018 San Mateo Maker Faire
Exotic Chickens: Coloring for Everyone (Creative Stress Relieving Adult Coloring Book Series). The button machines were, as usual, a big hit with kids and adults alike.
We had a great weekend helping people experience what it might be like to be a chicken.
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