Skippy the Robot skips stones for city-bound computer-users
By Ben Coxworth
July 11, 2012
Don’t you wish you could be skipping stones across a mountain pond right now? Well, if you’re willing to wait in an online queue for a while, you could be doing it ... sort of. Idaho’s Sun Valley resort area is currently running a promotion, in which people can use their internet browser to control Skippy – a robot that skips real stones across a real pond.
Registered visitors to the promotion’s website access a user interface, where they see a real-time video feed from a camera located behind Skippy, looking out across the pond. Once it’s their turn to skip, they can adjust the angle and force at which the stone will be thrown, before activating Skippy to do so. A readout of the current wind speed may help returning users figure out just how much force is needed.
The system automatically records each throw, so users can share the video via social media if they’re so inclined – probably not particularly compelling viewing for most people, but at least it’s more unique than another funny foreign commercial.
The video below shows Skippy in action.