Skippy the Robot skips stones for city-bound computer-users


July 11, 2012

Skippy is an internet-controlled robot that skips stones across a pond

Skippy is an internet-controlled robot that skips stones across a pond

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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.

If controlling a stone-skipping robot just isn’t your thing, you can also use your computer to pilot an actual mini submarine, or to play with a cat in an animal shelter.

The video below shows Skippy in action.

Source: Skip Town in Sun Valley via Mashable

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth
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