Co-directors: Ken Goldberg and Michael Mascha
Project team: Steven Gentner, Nick Rothenberg,
Carl Sutter, Jeff Wiegley

USC's Mercury Project combined robotics and archaeology in an interactive art installation. To our knowledge, the Mercury Project was the first system that allowed WWW users to remotely view and alter the real world via tele-robotics. Users excavated artifacts buried in a sand-filled terrarium in our laboratory in Los Angeles. All buried artifacts were derived from an unnamed 19th Century text which provided a meta-commentary on science and the Internet. Users were challenged to collectively identify this text by describing their findings and hypotheses in an ongoing Operator's Log.
The Mercury Project was online for 7 months (1 Sep 1994 - 31 March 1995) and received over 2.5 Million hits. Thanks to everyone who participated. A new tele-robotic installation is reachable below.
BACKGROUND STORY
USER INTERFACE
PROJECT MILESTONES
PROJECT TEAM, PAPERS, STATISTICS
OPERATOR'S LOGS
EXPLANATION OF THE BURIED ARTIFACTS
QUICK-TIME MOVIE CLIP(400K)
A NEW TELE-ROBOTIC INSTALLATION
(Announced 12 June, 1995: NII Award Finalist in Arts and Entertainment.)
goldberg@usc.edu and mascha@usc.edu