frequently asked questions

F R E Q U E N T L Y . A S K E D . Q U E S T I O N S

"Why is this project called INTERFACE?"

INTERFACE -- a concept which is discussed by artist Laura Trippi and fellow web-teleroboticist Eric Paulos -- incorporates several concepts which are central to this project. After working on the system for some time, I finally real ised that my primary interest lay in the interfacing of objects and concepts: people, physical spaces, computers, machines, art, techology, and realities. The connection points between these factors posessed a new dynamic -- creating an interesting tangle of complex connections.

"Why was the project formerly called doppelgänger?"

The term doppelgänger literally means 'double-goer' in German -- an apparition of you that interacts in the world outside of your body. Something like a bodily ghost, it goes around and does things apart from your phys ical being.

The basic concept of this project is to do just that - to provide a physical device that people can 'posess'. The device awaits for you to funnel an aspect of your being into it - thus animating it in a real physical space. However, your experience with the robot is not real-life, the experience transmitted is ghost-like: low-bandwidth and slightly surreal. Similarly, only a specific part of your being can be transfered through the movements of the device into the physical space.

After considering these viewpoints, the term doppelänger seemed to made sense - it embodied part of the conceptual framework that I wanted to engage with.

"Are there any other similar projects that you know of?"

Yes, there are similar projects out there. The different elements that compose doppelgänger have generally been used in different ways in the past.

First of all, the idea of a 'webcam' was first implemented in the U.K. with the The Trojan Coffee Pot, the classic 'cult' webcam that actually preceded 'the web'. This is simply a picture of a coffee pot that is live - updated once every few minutes and made for the whole world to view.

Soon a number of webcams started to go up online - images of offices, labs, etc - many of which are currently listed under The Web Voyeur. After cameras were connected to the net, individuals and groups began to connect other physical de vices to the internet. For a list of sites which list similar projects, visit :
As far as ARTISTS using web-telerobotics, I do not believe that many artists to date (late 1995) have used the medium. Although telerobotics, webcams, and machinery have been used, web-telerobotics appears largely untouched.