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Bamzooki is a "mixed reality television gameshow" produced by the BBC in conjunction with Creature Labs. Although the show is aimed at young people it's well worth a look from anyone interested in robotics, virtual reality and artifical life.


Bamzooki is based around "Zooks". A Zook is a virtual artificial insect built using the Zook-Kit from the BBC. Unfortunately the Zook-Kit runs only on Windows and not currently on the Mac, a major drawback.

A Zook is created from a variety of 3D components and is then able to move autonomously by way of a physics simulation engine.

During the TV show, teams of young people compete by entering Zooks that they have designed into various competitions. These vary from simple races to obstacle courses and tests of strength.

The Zook contests are then merged into the BBC's virtual studio to give the impression that the Zooks are physically alive and racing in the studio. Each studio camera has its own dedicated PC to render the virtual scene from its perspective, allowing them to follow the action in real time.

The first series of Bamzooki was shown in 2004. At the time of writing (2006) the third series is currently showing on CBBC.

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