Ninety-seven years ago, a group of archaeologists discovered a crashed alien artefact. Although it appears to communicate to some select individuals, nobody has succeeded in deciphering its messages. For this reason, it was named the ‘Aeon Box’. Who will be the chosen one to finally solve it?
WHAT IS IT?
The Aeon Box is a 60 cm cube Arduino-based interactive puzzle box. The player will have to go through five complex puzzles in order to restore the energy of this mysterious artefact. All features have been individually designed and brought to life in-house through 3D printing, a healthy lick of paint and long nights of crying over code.
Richard Zhang | Pilar Zhang Qiu
THE AEON BOX:
GIANT PUZZLE BOX
- Concept Ideation
- Puzzles Brainstorming
- Ordering Components
- Creation of Project
Budget and Purchase
- Distribution of Tasks
ASSEMBLY AND CODE TRIALS
- Working on Puzzles
- Cosmetic Painting and
- Puzzle Box Assembly
- Final Code and
- Box Main Body
- Cosmetic Features
- Working on Puzzles
My main contributions:
Main lead in: Mimicry Game (P1), Laser Puzzle (P2), Activation and Hibernation System,
Overall Aesthetic and Cosmetic Design (Co-Lead) and Main Code
02 ICAH COMPETITION
'The Aeon Box' is a two-people project with which we entered the 'Level Up!' or interactive retro games competition.
Organised by the Imperial College Advanced Hackspace (ICAH), the contest was open to all Imperial College London and associates internal UG, PG and PhD. Our team was elected for a £1K funding for an augmented size interactive puzzle box, with which we entered the 6 finalists.
03 LEVEL UP YOUR GAME:
PUZZLES & GAMES
This game features a 60 cm cube Arduino-based interactive puzzle box. The player will traverse five complex puzzles in order to ‘restore the energy’ of this mysterious artefact, these being:
04 FROM CONCEPT TO REALITY
Note that only two of the five puzzles are presented here as these are the ones that I designed and created.
The Mimicry Game (P1) consists of two light matrices located on opposite sides of the cube.
The player will soon realise that they have to mirror the colour pattern from the first panel into the one that is off. To change the colours of each hexagon, the player will be required to push each individual hexagon.
The Laser Puzzle (P2) creates an intriguing, yet beautiful game of laser beams, mirrors and reflections.
The mirrors are located on the irregular surfaces of the interior of the telescope-like geared mechanism. The player will have to rotate the external gears and lead the reflection of the laser beam to the goal point.
Following the narrative of 'The Aeon Box' and to ensure the best user experience possible, the main structure of the box and all its cosmetic features and puzzles were painted and designed to resemble a weathered mysterious artefact.
For easier transportation, the weight of the 60 cm cube box was optimised by 3D printing most of the features and puzzles.
Not only did this allow for rapid prototyping and more complex shapes, but also increased our expertise in how to treat, design for assembly and chemically bond big 3D prints.
And yes, all those metallic-like weathered pieces are made from PLA and ABS prints!
THE MIMICRY GAME
THE LASER PUZZLE
AESTHETICS AND FINISH