Eggheads Invent Tele-Petting

By Lakshmi Sandhana

02:00 AM May. 17, 2005 PT

Researchers have developed a cybernetic system to allow physical interaction over the internet. The system allows touching and feeling of animals or other humans in real time, but it's first being tried out on -- chickens.

ou walk into your office, where a hollow, chicken-shaped doll sits on a mechanical positioning table close to your computer.

The doll whirs to life as soon as you switch on the system, duplicating the motion of a real chicken in the backyard whose movements are being captured by a webcam.

Fondling the doll translates into touching the real fowl.

Touch sensors attached to the doll convey tactile information to a nearby PC through radio signals. The data is sent over the internet to a remote computer near the chicken; the remote computer triggers tiny vibration motors in a lightweight haptic jacket worn by the fowl. more...

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,67513,00.html