Internet helicopter: an example of Internet-mediated recreation

Jonathan Crellin

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From its earliest days, human computer interaction research has paid attention to lessons learned from computer games (for example Malone, 1981; Carroll,1982). These demonstrate the need to incorporate difficult to achieve goals, and skill like elements into a computer recreation. Computer games have developed highly detailed simulations (which can also be used to train users of real devices), for example (Gopher & Weil, 1992). Internet based games allow humans to interact via computer mediated systems (for example Multi User Dungeons or MUDS, Shotton, 1989), and to interact with real physical devices (for example Cox and Baruch, 1994). The Internet Fiesta gave us the opportunity to build an internet recreation based on an internet telerobot. Robotics research at the University of Portsmouth is well developed, (for example Luk, Collie, Piefort, and Virk, 1996). The project was implemented using an existing multiple rotor fixed ‘helicopter’ robot. We developed a short life internet telerobot with control software available for a wide variety of platforms. This used rapidly developed multiple platform custom applications, and existing video and web cam software. High level development tools make the development of custom Internet protocol based applications very straightforward. Complex systems can be constructed by combining simple existing tools in novel ways. The software and hardware integration was developed over a period of three weeks, and ran reliably for three days, and attracted successful interactions from around the world. The project demonstrated the importance of designing a recreational activity that includes Carroll’s list of responsiveness, benchmarks, acceptable uncertainty, safe conduct, learning by doing, opportunity, taking charge, and the illusion of control.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2001
EventProceedings of the International Conference on Application and Development of Computer Games in the 21st Century - City University of Hong Kong, HKSAR, China
Duration: 22 Nov 200123 Nov 2001


ConferenceProceedings of the International Conference on Application and Development of Computer Games in the 21st Century
CityCity University of Hong Kong, HKSAR


  • game
  • helicopter
  • Internet
  • robot


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