This tele-robotic project allows World Wide Web users to view and interact with a garden filled with living plants. Users can plant, water, and monitor the progress of seedlings via the tender movements of an industrial robot arm.
The site is intended to evolve over a period of months. Anyone can view the site; the rights to plant and water are granted to anyone willing to make his or her email address known to other members. Events will be recorded in logs so that members can note progress and exchange unsolicited advice.
A previous project by some members of this team and others (http://www.usc.edu/dept/raiders) used an industrial robot to permit remote excavation of a sand-filled archaelogical site. Such hunting and gathering is characteristic of existing Internet protocols.
This project explores a post-nomadic motif, where planting and agriculture require spatial and temporal continuity. Our objective is to illuminate what Neil Postman calls the "ecological effects of media" (Technopoly, 1994).
The Tele-Garden has appeared in the Digital Alchemy Show, San Francisco and the Interactive Media Festival, Los Angeles. http://www.usc.edu/dept/garden/.
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