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Thursday, October 06, 2005

... ON A BICYCLE BUILT FOR 2L

Pedaling through an MMO on your own power...

I've been keeping a curious eye on the many mad scientist projects of Mr. qDot Bunnyhug, a relatively new Resident who brought his real life experience with robotics to Second Life, launching a whirlwind of interface innovation that he's been documenting with great detail in his blog. First came a jury-rigged display of SL in full 3D, quickly followed by a joystick input into the world. Marvelous plans, to be sure, but his latest enterprise manages to burst out of the "cool hack for hardware hackers" category, driving straight into the realm of "potential revolution in online world interaction".

To wit, manuevering your avatar in an MMO by pedaling an exercycle.

Bunnyhug takes us step by step through the process, hooking up a sensor to an exercycle, transmitting that data from the PC and there into Second Life, while whipping up a steering device with a discarded Xbox controller. Fortunately, qDot is about as good a writer as he is a robotics hacker, so even readers outside the Slashdot set will enjoy the read, walking them through the technical details, and the Keanu-worthy mods to come:

... When the encoder is triggered, a 2 second timer is started. Every time the encoder is triggered after that, the timer is reset to 2 seconds. If the 2 second timer runs out, the keystroke is set to up, and the bike is stopped. This means that the user needs to be aware of where the bike will be in 2 seconds. They are also required to keep a minimum speed of at least 4.5 miles per hour. Future versions of the project will make the Second Life Bike explode and throw the avatar 10 sims over if they drop below this speed.

Read the full details at Bunnyhug's blog here.

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Cool! Let's when be have the first virtual international "Tour de SL"!! :D

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