Frequently Asked Questions

Robots creating question mark shapes in different sizes


What is an escape room?

Based on Scott Nicholson‘s definition, escape rooms are ‘live-action team-based games where players discover clues, solve puzzles, and accomplish tasks in one or more rooms in order to accomplish a specific goal (usually escaping from the room) in a limited time’.


How much does it cost?

Good news: It’s completely FREE!


Where is the escape room located?

Swarm Escape! has been designed to be portable. That means you will most likely find it outdoors, moving from one location to another. Check out Dates for info about where you can find us next.


Is pre-booking required?

As a general rule, no. If you pop by and it is available, you will be able to take part. However, pre-booking might depend on the particular event the escape room is at. Check out Dates for info about pre-booking at one particular event.


How long is the experience?

The complete experience will last between 30 and 60 minutes.


What is the minimum age to take part?

The escape room has been designed for people aged 16 and over.


What is the minimum and maximum group sizes?

The escape room has been designed for groups between 3 and 6 people. Due to space constraints (it’s portable!), no more than 6 people can take part.


Will I play with people I don’t know?

No, as long as you are part of a group of at least 3 people. If not, you might be offered to play with a group of people you don’t know if that makes up for a mixed group of 3 to 6 players.


What will happen if I take part?

You will be sent in a room full of puzzles to solve. During the escape room experience, you will be asked a series of questions. Your answers will not affect the outcome of the escape room or any of the puzzles at all. There is no right or wrong answer. These questions will only inform researchers about your attitudes towards swarm robotics. You are free to not answer them.

After the escape room experience has finished, you will be invited to take part in a debrief with all the participants from your group and a swarm robotics researcher about the benefits and risks of robot swarms in the future. You will also be able to leave questions for the researchers and provide feedback about your experience in the escape room.


What data will be collected?

The researcher present at the activity will collect your responses to the questions during the escape room experience, as well as the ideas discussed in the debrief. For all data collected, names and identities will be anonymised. Researchers will analyse the data and produce a research article which may be published in an academic conference or journal. All data collected for research purposes will remain fully anonymised.

The researcher may take photographs for marketing purposes on social media and on the project website. Anonymised participant quotes might also be collected for marketing purposes.

Finally, there will be a camera inside the escape room for the researcher to be able to assist you during the experience and provide hints. This video will only be transmitted live to the researcher, and will not be recorded anywhere or shared with anyone else.


What are my rights?

Your participation is entirely voluntary. You are free to withdraw at any point up to one week from the date of your participation without giving a reason. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to withdraw if you decide to do it after one week from the date of your participation.

In the case of withdraw during this period, any forms and questionnaires that you filled in, as well as your data, will be destroyed. Please note however that any other contributions (e.g., post-it notes) will not be able to be isolated and destroyed. In this case, these will be completely anonymous and individual identification will not be possible.

To withdraw from the study, please contact any of the researchers listed in Contact.


How will my confidentiality be protected?

Your data will be stored, analysed and presented anonymously as per University of Bristol data protection regulations and the EPSRC research data policy.

Specifically, data will be stored on an encrypted, password protected University PC hard drive during the duration of the study. During this period, only the researcher, the Project Supervisor and the event organisers will have access to the data collected during the study. Anonymised data collected during the study will be used in academic outputs (e.g. publications and conferences) from the project. On completion of the project, or in conjunction with any publications during, all data will be made open access long-term through the University of Bristol Research Data Repository in line with ESPRC data sharing regulations.

If you have any questions about the ethical conduct of this research or are uncertain about any aspect of your participation please contact the University of Bristol Research Governance Team, or any of the people listed in Contact.


Will the escape room be scary?

We don’t expect it to be! The escape room has been designed to be fun, not scary. There will always be light inside. If at any point you feel distressed, you will be able to leave.


Will I be completely locked in?

No. The door of the escape room won’t be locked. Therefore, you will easily be able to leave the room in case you decide to stop playing, e.g. you become upset or distressed during the experience, or in case of an emergency.


How big is the room?

It’s a portable escape room of 3m x 3m. Perfect for outdoor festivals!


Are there any toilet facilities?

Unfortunately, not inside the escape room or its reception. However, the escape room will usually be part of a festival, where toilet facilities are likely to be available.


How accessible is the escape room?

Swarm Escape! has been designed to be accessible by wheelchair. It has also been adapted for colour blindness.


Is it stressful, or physically/mentally demanding?

Not at all! Swarm Escape! has been designed to be an enjoyable experience, not physically or mentally demanding. A researcher will always be outside the escape room in case you need a hint.

If you need a break, there will be at least one chair available inside the escape room. And if you decide to stop playing, you will be able to leave. The door won’t be locked.

Please, check with the researcher first if you suffer from any condition that could worsen by participating in this thematic activity, e.g., claustrophobia.


Can I still participate if I’m pregnant?

Yes, you can! Puzzles have been designed to be non-physical.


Will there be drinks/food at the reception?

We want to respect people’s allergies/lifestyles, so we don’t offer any food or drinks. But you’re more than welcome to bring you own food/drinks to consume before/after playing the escape room.

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