Physical Interactions over IP

Craft & Design Technology

My friend Thomas Edwards, who’s the alpha geek behind Dorkbot DC, has put up a new project wiki for his (and presumably other techno-artist’s) work in what he calls Phy2Phy, or “Physical Interactions over IP.” This YouTube vid shows progress-to-date on his “Touch” project, which allows two people to touch each other over a Net connection, using force-sensitive resistors. There’s a lot of cool hardware here, including the Comfile CUBLOC CB220 microprocessor, the Pololu micro serial servo controller, the Lantronix Xport, and the force sensors. All details and links are on the Touch Project page on Phy2Phy. Thomas will be showing off his progress at the next Dorkbot DC, on Sept. 10.

Physical Interactions over IP – Link

4 thoughts on “Physical Interactions over IP

  1. Mikado says:

    Teledildonics, here we come!

  2. Village_Idiot says:

    No doubt. Also, no pun intended I’m sure. ;)

    This will finally make Second Life interesting!

    Of course, I’m sure we’ll quickly end up in a situation where many of the video feeds coming in with the “touches” will be fake, even the “finishing touches,” or just actors on webcams, and the real person “pushing your buttons” will be an utterly bored wage slave in a cubicle who’s probably tending the buttons of several clients at once. I guess the quality of the experience would depend on the quality of the acting, just like in real relationships.

    And when the thing inevitably breaks, calling tech support will be interesting. “This call may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance…”

    Seriously, though, this has been a long time coming (ok, semi-seriously). And, it might even find uses outside of the insanely lucrative obvious one, like hacking into a paranoid guy’s computer and tapping him on the shoulder for instance, or allowing the music industry to slap a downloader across the face while they’re downloading.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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