Links new skills in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom This allows you to construct all kinds of devices functioning computers to um, flame-throwing tails. Thanks to these construction forces, a university professor uses TotKis the mechanics and physics engine for teaching students about engineering and robotics.
Spotted the Nintendo Switch subredditRyan Sochol, associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland and director of the Bioinspired Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory (BAM) uses Nintendo’s popular open-world action-adventure game to expand students’ knowledge of machine construction and design. As Sochol pointed out a YouTube video from November 12ththe class, “The Legend of Zelda: A Connection to Machine Design“will utilize various aspects of the game, from physics to its runic abilities such as Fuse and Ultrahand, to give mechanical engineering students a glimpse into the world of robotics. Actually, it’s pretty sick.
“What surprised me when I played through it [Tears of the Kingdom], was the unexpected focus on machine design and engineering,” Sochol said in the video. “So the game includes a number of different types of machine elements such as rockets, motorized wheels, [and] Propeller. And the interesting thing is that each of these different machine elements uses energy differently. “
The way the course is structured is cool. Students are formed into teams – three to four people per group – and receive a Nintendo Switch with a physical copy of Tears of the Kingdom and a Pro Controller that students can take home during the semester.
The students first learn the basics TotKfeatures machine elements to complete in-game problem-solving challenges (e.g. completing a shrine in innovative and unexpected ways). Teams are then tasked with examining a specific machine element to find out how it performs under different circumstances. Finally, students use what they’ve learned to take on a machine design challenge, with tests where teams prototype and construct a transformative, bio-inspired, amphibious robotic vehicle for a class race. The team with the fastest robot on land and water wins an A+.
“We believe that piloting the course this semester is just the beginning,” Sochol said at the end of his YouTube video. “We hope to capitalize on this special opportunity where a video game can actually provide reasonably authentic and relevant learning experiences for students to inspire lasting interest and confidence in machine design, engineering and robotics.”
Playful technique with the Hero of the Wild
It seems that Sochol did just that. In a telephone interview with KotakuHe said that there was a bit of a mess in setting up the one-credit college program –TotK The course started in May and Sochol wanted the course to start in June – it ended up enrolling many more students than he could reasonably teach. In fact, not only did he have to cancel the registrations, he also raffled off the places.
“I had to limit the number of Nintendo Switches I could buy and all those things,” Sochol told me. “And could I also find a classroom that has all these TVs, etc.? So I had to set my class limit to around 20 [students]. And I actually had to hold a lottery so that students could even apply for the course [because] Over 100 people entered the lottery and at some point I had to stop accepting answers. It just became ridiculous.”
Curious students were given a questionnaire about their story The Legend of Zelda and, more precisely, Tears of the Kingdom. People more familiar with both were more likely to get into the course, but when the dust settled — after all, a random number generator was used to select students — Sochol said half the class had never played before Zelda Game. Always. Meanwhile, only one student had fought TotK When the course began, only four had even played it. Despite this unfamiliarity, Sochol said the least experienced team won the halftime challenge race.
What’s also pretty cool is that Sochol paired the game with the industry standard computer-aided design (CAD) software that other engineers, including himself, use to design robots and products. For example, the students will build a car ToTK Then try to reproduce it in CAD, picking out the differences side by side to see how the game’s virtual world relates to the real world. In this way, students learn some complementary CAD skills for IRL application while testing theories in a 3D space.
It’s also exponentially cheaper to do it that way, especially as CAD software the SolidWorks program Take advantage of engineering programs at Sochol and the University of Maryland – an annual subscription can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. However, he said that while the course itself was much more cost-effective than subscribing to CAD software, it still put a dent in his wallet. Sochol explained:
That’s the really funny thing. I think if you’re outside of academia or the engineering world, you might want to take a look at this [as expensive]. But to give you a framework: Which CAD software am I talking about? The license we personally receive for my lab for a computer for one year is $10,000. Even one of the main simulation software that my group uses, which I think is not that expensive, still costs $3,000 for a one year license. And I have to subscribe to this every year so that my students can continue to simulate floating interactions and things like that. […] With this course I got six Nintendo Switches, six game cartridges and six Pro Controllers. And that puts us under $3,000 and they never go away. I can use these forever. It’s a one-time purchase, and to be honest, all of that together is still less than the computer I had to buy to even start the whole process of getting a license.
The hope, Sochol said as the course enters its final weeks, is to expand the course’s curriculum — making it a more intensive, three-credit course — and structure it so that other colleges can offer something similar . He described on his LinkedIn page how he built the class to inspire other professors to do the same. He also intends to run the course in the spring semester – and the one after that and the one after that – as long as there are funds and students available. It is an elective course with one credit point, which is comparable to taking part in a seminar to receive an attendance grade. However, Sochol’s ambition is to make this a much harder course in the long term. At the moment, Sochol is very impressed with his students’ progress.
With the huge success that is Tears of the Kingdom, which has sold nearly 20 million units since its launch on May 12thSochol hopes that other developers will follow the so-called path the gamification of learningor “gamified education,” the use of video games to teach students various curricula. I would like to see that too. It shows that the medium can do more than we realize.
Oh, and in case you were curious, Sochol is finished ToTK (with his wife, no less) and his favorite Zelda game is Ocarina of time.