Robotics team combines fitness with gameplay in new app


Alp Demirtas

RETRO-FIT makes fitness fun by allowing players to build their character through exercises.

Audrey Matei, Reporter

The robotics team has designed a fitness app for their upcoming competition that fuses typical fitness challenges and an adventure game, and it eventually could be used by the P.E. department during distance learning.

In the RETRO-FIT app, players compete in fitness challenges with their friends, which allows them to progress in the game.

Robotics team member Alp Demirtas explained that the app is different from a typical fitness app because of this gameplay element.

“As you do exercise and fitness in the real world, it builds on your character in game,” he said. “It provides a way for people to get used to exercise without the uncomfortable aspect to it and making it fun.” 

The robotics team submitted its design on March 4 to the Innovation Challenge, a competition in which teams have eight weeks to design a concept for a product based on a prompt. This year the prompt was “an innovation that can help improve people’s physical and mental well beings.” 

After the initial judgement, the idea could progress to the semi-finals and eventually the finals, where the idea would be pitched to technology companies for funding to potentially become a reality.

Since January, the team has been developing concepts for different designs, products and software that could be used for the final version of the app.

Robotics team head coach Darren Fuller said that it could be used integrated in different ways by the P.E department during in-person or distance learning. The app could serve to improve motivation and interest among students. 

“Theoretically in a P.E. class, students could be issued a wearable device that would have sensors in it, so it could track your steps, or even a sensor patch that could be attached to different equipment like dumbbells or balls to track information to input into the game,” he said.