Jun 5, 2017 | By Tess

While fidget spinners may still reign as the top trending toy, the stress-relieving gizmos may soon have a new rival. Called SwapBots, this soon-to-be-released toy uses augmented reality to bring its physical components to life.

Developed by a Liverpool-based startup, SwapBots could very well be the next big toy fad. By combining simple 3D printed blocks with an augmented reality mobile app, SwapBots allows users to not only physically play with the toys, but to engage with them virtually as well—battling other SwapBots and more.

More than just bringing the toys to life with AR, SwapBots also lets users customize and create new characters by swapping and interchanging different physical blocks. Basically, users are given a set of 3D printed blocks, trios of which make up an individual character: head, torso, and legs.

The blocks can be used to make classic characters (including Octo, Griff, Kabuto, and six more) or customized creations. (Think octopus legs with eagle wings and a samurai skull head.) When the blocks are assembled, the SwapBots mobile app (available for iOS and Android) scans the physical blocks and brings the character to life on the user’s screen.

Unfortunately, eager gamers will have to wait a little while before getting their hands on the augmented reality toy, as SwapBots is still being finalized. SwapBots developers are currently working on giving the AR characters the ability to battle each other—a functionality which would not only make the toy interactive but also social.

The innovative toy brand, which in April successfully raised over £25,000 through a Kickstarter campaign, is also accessible. That is, unlike many VR/AR games that require expensive consoles, SwapBots is designed to work with just about any mobile device or tablet. As SwapBots CMO Phil Charnock told TNW, the toy was developed to even work on older devices, as most kids do not have the most up-to-date tech. The toy’s reasonable price of £16 (about $20) is also aimed at making it accessible to most kids and teens.

In light of the success of Pokémon​ Go, we have no doubt that SwapBots will make a big splash on the AR/VR toy market. In fact, according to the toy’s developers, SwapBots has already attracted the attention of big retailers in both the U.K. and the U.S., and was featured at both SXSW in Austin, Texas and GDC in San Francisco, California.

You can currently pre-order your own SwapBots via Indiegogo.

(Images: SwapBots)



Posted in Fun with 3D Printing



Maybe you also like:


Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to

3ders.org Feeds 3ders.org twitter 3ders.org facebook   

About 3Ders.org

3Ders.org provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive