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Internet Tele-operation

This page was last updated in December 1995 and so does not give an accurate account of the current state of web controlled machines. I'm keeping this page here as a historic record of what was available at the time -- MJC Apr98

This page gives a list of sites that have remote equipment connected to them. It only lists hardware that can be directly controlled by users and does not cover things like coffee machines and cameras.


Mechanical Gaze
Mechanical Gaze is a WWW based active telerobotic remote environment browser. The browser allows multiple remote WWW users to actively control up to six degrees of freedom of a robot arm with an attached camera to explore a real remote environment. The initial environment is a collection of physical exhibits which WWW users can view at various positions, orientations, and levels of resolution.
USC Tele-garden
Use a remote controlled robot arm and camera to look into a garden, plant seeds and water plants. Complex access controls allow everyone to appear to control the robot at the same time - so no long queues to use it. Picture (GIF 45k) of me and tele-garden when I visited in May 95.
Australia Robot Arm
A tele-operated robot in Australia. It can be moved around but there are no access controls, so it can get confusing with many people using it. (Oct 94 to date)

Movable Cameras

NYU's Famous Original LabCam
Its a LabCam that you can point by clicking on an image. Another view of an office although they leave their lights on at night.
Chicago LabCam
A camera is mounted on a computer-controlled pan-tilt head, which you can operate by clicking on a picture. Its only a view of an office (so there will be no light out of office hours, CDT)
Remote Control Camera (Demo)
Unfortunately this is only a demo. A small camera is mounted on a pan-tilt base. The video output is sent via CUSeeMe giving a real-time picture

Lab Equipment & Others

Railroad Control
Control a model railroad in a lab in Germany and watch it moving
Remote Electron Beam Control
Experimental control of laboratory equipment. Shown at WWWF'94. Standard Web users can only watch what is going on.
Virtual Lab
Engineering Technology Department of Texas A&M University. Student projects are focusing on making virtual control of lab equipment such as oscilloscopes and multi-meters a common tool for distance learning centers throughout Texas.


Interactive Christmas Tree
Use a form to vote to turn sets of Christmas tree lights on and off. See a current picture of the tree.
Mercury Tele-operation
Use a remote controlled robot arm and camera to excavate sand! Has complex access controls and queues to make sure everyone gets a fair chance at using the robot. This was an excellent example of what can be accomplished on the Web. (Oct 94-Apr 95). I visited the project in May, picture of old Mercury robot (GIF 52k).
Internet Toaster
After hours of searching I finally managed to track down the Internet Toaster! Demonstrated at Interop in 1990 the toaster was the first? controlled machine over the internet (this one using SNMP). The company behind it have a picture on their home page.
ACM Scrolling Sign
Scroll a message across a LED sign outside the ACM offices using Email or a Web form. Its now closed due to people scrolling rude messages.

Created: 01 Dec 1995