Spongebob Skill Crane

Nickelodeon

An Internet-Controlled Device.

Nickelodeon came to ISL with the goal of creating the ultimate fan experience, bridging their online and offline worlds. They wanted to engage fans before and during the annual Spongebob Squarepants Fan Shellabration, so our team devised a plan to build a real world skill crane, connected to the internet, that fans could control via an online game as well as in real life.

For the two weeks leading up to the Shellabration, Spongebob fans vied for control over the skill crane as it sat in our workshop. Just before the event, the skill crane magically appeared (we shipped it) to Los Angeles so that fans could interact with the machine in real life at the ultimate Spongebob event. The project allowed us to explore new methods and materials for our work and led us to produce never-before-seen experiences.

Source material.
3D model.
Physical shell.
Vinyl wrapped.

See the

Recap

The Machine

With a collection of motors, belts, rods, joysticks, buttons, sensors and a steady stream of 3D-printed components (courtesy our office MakerBot) our team engineered custom hardware to interface with micro-controllers communicating with servers via the web.

Top Compontent
Top Foreground
Top Background
Middle Joystick
Middle Foreground
Middle Background
Bottom Compontent
Bottom
  • Custom 3D printed brackets
  • Electromagnetic Claw
  • Ultrasonic Range Finder
  • 4-Channel 5V Relay Module for Arduino
  • Arduino Mega 2560 R3
  • Arduino Ethernet Shield
  • Arduino Servo Shield
  • Arcade Joystick + Button
  • Stepper Motor(x3)

The Digital Experience

The core challenge of this project was to convince our audience of the real-world impact of their digital actions. We bridged that gap via a live video feed from a camera looking into the prize-filled case of our physical crane. The video was then embedded in a web-based version of the skill crane, emulating the experience of literally standing in front of the machine.

A view of the real-world skill crane.
Our facebook app with live stream.

The Stats

Analyzing the evidence of our success is key and we collected some compelling statistics. Drop off rates were low when requiring multiple information inputs before entering the experience and over time usage rates—the experience lasted for twelve days—grew over time.

Our final numbers tallied after the experience’s completion proved impressive as wel, with over 1000 prizes physically grabbed by players and nearly 50,000 total views of our microsite.

 
Total Unique Players
 
Prizes Grabbed
 
Total Page Views

The End Result

Analyzing the evidence of our success is key — and we collected some compelling statistics along the way. Drop off rates were low, even when requiring multiple information inputs before entering the experience and usage rates grew over time (the experience lasted for twelve days).

Our final numbers tallied after the experience’s completion proved impressive as well, with over 1,000 prizes physically grabbed by players and nearly 50,000 total views of our microsite. The most compelling feedback? The smiles on the face of the lined up by the hundreds to play the game in person at the Shellabration.