From Wheel To Spaceship - The Evolution Of Knowledge

Keywords: Education, Serious Games, Virtual Reality, HTC Vive, Digital Transformation, Chariot, Spoked Wheel

The Chariot VR is a serious games approach where the user can playfully discover the invention of the first chariot in history. The idea for the project was created in 2010 under the working title “Spaceship Knowledge”, a spaceship with which the player can travel through galaxies. Only the development of the spoked wheel made the invention of the chariot possible which we know from famous chariot races of Rome and battles during the dynasty of Ramses the second. But the invention of the chariot happened somewhere else to be specific in the Eurasian Steppes through different iranian tribes and their migration to the middle east. Therefore, it is necessary for the player to solve various puzzles and riddles around the chariot to understand its origin. In chariotVR, the player retrospectively engages in the history of mankind, must understand these in interrelationships and apply them to new areas. Only then the player can unlock and reveal news paths of knowledge and enlightenment.

The Virtual Reality / Head Mounted Displays

With the rise of the virtual reality and the head mounted displays you can interact, reconstruct and deconstruct a spoked wheel in virtual space for the first time. The virtual reality offers a whole new way to interact on different and never-before-seen informational levels. The starting point of the trip is the “Andronovo” laboratory, which looks back on the beginnings of the mobility and cultural development of Eurasia.

Lange Nacht Der Wissenschaften / Long Night Of Sciences

The radioeins RBB visited the UE – University of Applied Sciences Europe, where a live interview took place between the presenter Julia Vismann and Adrian Azadvaten, the developer of Chariot VR.

The Wheel

The use of the wheel for transportation took its origin in the vast Eurasian steppe, in today’s Ukraine and the Urals of Russia. From there the cart spread over the whole earth. The oldest wagons were found in the area north of the Black Sea and date from the copper age of the 4th and 3rd millennium BC.

The Lab

The “Andronovo” laboratory is part of the modular concept and starting point of the exploration. In this lab, the chariot is discussed and the regional cultures that initiated this development. The invention of the spoked wheel was crucial for the further development of wagons and the first chariots of the Eurasian Steppes and the Middle East.

The First Chart

The oldest cart models are from the Trypillya region on the Dnepr (today’s Ukraine) and the northern Caucasus foothills, from the contact zone between Indo-Europeans and Old Europeans (4th and 3rd millennium BC). The Romans completed the development of the cart with the well-known swivel joint (around 100 BC), which allowed for improved agility.

The Archaic Chariot

The heavier carts with full wheels, comparatively huge disc wheels, were further developed and replaced by subsequent cultures such as the Sintashta and the Indo-iranian Andronovo culture (2300 – 1000 BC) in the Bronze Age. Around 1700 BC the invention of the chariot was established at the border area between today’s Iran, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and the Hindu Kush.

The Spoked Wheel

The lightweight construction of the spoked wheel enabled faster mobility compared to the heavy full wheels and thus contributed to the rapid spread of this technology. New, lighter wood materials and metals were used. Known spokes-wheel spies are found among the Indo-Iranians (from 2100 BC), the Mitanni empire (1500 – 1300 BC) and the Egyptian Empire (New Empire: ca. 1550 – 1070 BC), Assyrians (New Assyrian Empire from the 900 BC) and in the Persian world empire (from 550 BC).

Info Map

The map shows archaeological and historical sites. It provides insights and additional information about the region’s culture of the time. In addition, there are information visualisations (animated infographics and infomaps) which are not available to the user in the real world in terms of forms and aesthetics. The countries shown on the map did not exist at the time of the Indo-European migration, but should allow the player a better global as well as local spatial location.

Chariot VR Teaser