EMC Gallery - person sitting in a box

Technology Explored: Unity and Arduino

The Challenge: With a little creativity even a cardboard box can become a whole new world… SpaceBox, an EMC Sandbox team project, took the age-old fun found in a cardboard box and transformed it into a digital and analog experience.

The Solution: Sitting in the cardboard box, the player physically tips side to side as their rocket, as depicted on the screen in front of them, navigates past meteors. SpaceBox was created using the Unity and Arduino development platforms which brought the experience to life and enabled the combination of the physical with the digital to create a full body experience.

SpaceBox has been extremely successful since its debut in San Francisco at the 2017 alt.ctrl.GDC. Since its first public appearance, SpaceBox has traveled around and been exhibited at: Chicago Design Museum’s ‘Hey! Play! Games in Modern Culture’ exhibition, the Toronto Kids Digital Festival, and the Innovation Playground at the ECHO Center in Burlington, Vermont. The wide reach of SpaceBox shows what can be achieved when imagination, innovation, and technology are combined.

In 2020, the SpaceBox project achieved Champlain College’s first official patent from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Students are named as the primary inventors.

“Oftentimes 3 kids would pile into the box to play. Other times, a kid or two would be in the box and multiple other kids would be decorating the outside of the box with markers and pipe-cleaners. It was interactive for all. Parents were usually a little hesitant to get in the box, but as soon as their child coaxed them a little, they hopped in and instantly had huge smiles on their faces!”
– Dylan Beebe (Game Design ’22)

Sandbox team