“PRoP: Personal Roving Presence” by Paulos

  • ©Eric Paulos


Entry Number: 26


    PRoP: Personal Roving Presence

Program Title:

    Electric Garden



Project Affiliation:

    University of California, Berkeley


    In the rush into cyberspace we leave our physical presence and our real-world environment behind. The internet, undoubtedly a remarkable modern communications tool, still does not empower us to enter the real world of the person at the other end of the connection. We cannot look out their window, admire the ir furniture, talk to their office mates, tour their laboratory, or walk outside. We lack the equivalent of a body or Personal Roving Presence (PRoP) at the other end with which we can move around in, communicate through, and observe with. However, by combining elements of computer graphics, the internet, and tele-robotics it is possible to transparently immerse users into navigable real remote worlds filled with rich spatial sensorium and to make such systems accessible from any networked computer in the world, in essence: globally accessible tele-embodiment.

    We have populated the Electric Garden with several special tele-robots including several ground based surface cruisers and few space browsing airborne blimps to provide the sensation of tele-embodiment. Drivers and pilots control these PRoPs and experience their remote world through live two-way audio and video. Attendees can also control and interact with separate virtual PRoPs inhabiting a simulated world that exhibits realistic physical and dynamic behavior.


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