Local News

N.C. State Researchers Operate Remote-Controlled Backhoe Via Internet

Posted August 17, 2000

— Researchers atN.C. Statehave created a backhoe that someone can operate by remote control from the other side of the world.

The Televator is hydraulically operated. The valves and sensors allow feedback all the way to the computer in Sydney, Australia. Dr. Leonhard Bernold, a civil engineer at N.C. State, can operate the Televator from Sydney using readily available computer gear.

The system works, despite a small amount of Internet delay. Camera images were also slowed by network congestion. Even so, Bernold was able to manipulate the Televator.

"You know Australia is about as far away as you can get and still be on Earth so if we can do it around the world, it goes to show we can do it next door too very easily," says Televator outfitter Jason Lloyd.

The idea is that Internet remote control can be used for training, handling hazardous situations and other hands-on uses.

"It's off-the-shelf technology, and we put it together in such a way that it would be easily accessible for industry to put together their own systems and just use our software," Lloyd says.

Another demonstration of the Televator is planned for a conference in Atlanta.

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