Drive a robot in Australia over the web

BP Australia has commissioned an online game where you get to drive robots around an obstacle course. Make no mistake, these are real robots. Actually they are modified versions of the Surveyor SRV-1 vehicles that are popular with research labs, and schools everywhere.

Go to the website, get in queue and pray for no clouds. These babies are solar powered, so you’ll have to try to get in while its day time in Australia. The entire set is built in miniature, so you feel like you’re driving a tank around a city.

[via Robots Dreams]


  1. kvmanii says:

    Omg I totally want to do this…. There was a Clemson University student by the name David Shelato. Who designed a wifi robot ..:virtually:.. the very same concept here. Every since I found out about Industrial Micro Controller/PLC “Cubloc I wanted to get one.. like most things that are sweet they cost a lot of money, yata yata yata.

  2. epicelite says:

    Why would a gas company want to invest in solar panels.


  3. Simest says:

    @epicelite easy, tehy are becoming a energy company

  4. Louis II says:

    Why is this a “daily” featured hack?!?!

    This is a BP ad campaign.

    A side from that… where is the hack of some thing in to some thing else? The added solar panel, made by BP, or the BP sticker on the units?

    -Louis II

  5. Louis II says:

    Also… what happened to capital letters on the internet… they die or something?

  6. sinn2df says:

    Says the person that uses no capitals in their posts.

  7. otis says:

    the comments section on this replaces upper case characters with lower for that cyberpunk feel.

  8. jason says:

    He actually did use a capital ‘a’ in ‘also’, the first word of his post. The site, ‘multiple-crappy-news-items-and-a-single-good-hack-a-day’ uses a script that forces all letters to display lowercase. Copy and paste a post to notepad to see it in all it’s proper case glory.

    Ironically my post is more of a hack than this article.

  9. Scott says:

    My local BP station has solar panels on its roof, enough to power unto 14 homes from memory.

  10. Jeremy C says:

    Dude, that is pretty sweet. BTW, I went to Clemson as well – go Tigers!

  11. Jesse says:

    Mmm, 2 1/2 hr wait. Fun!

  12. Jesse says:

    WTF, it took out my capitals!

  13. michaelb says:

    What the heck? I waited 2 hours and 45 minutes+ only to receive a connection error and be put in the back of the line.. What gives!??!

  14. Dakota C says:

    I got control, but my cam was black yet I could supposedly “drive” the car.

    And the billboards I’ve seen online in the course are WTFing me out.

    Anyone got a code yet?

  15. HE3r0 says:

    got two codes, but could not use them the second time, btw, it is very cool, very innovative, and makes you feel a bit like guys that are playing with mars pathfinder, or whatever they have on mars atm. Hardly a hack, but also have not seen anyone else with RC vehicle with web control panel.

  16. Ross Snider says:

    javascript:var s=document.stylesheets;if(s[0].addrule)s[0].addrule(“*”,”text-transform: none !important”,0);else s[0].insertrule(“* {text-transform: none !important}”, s.length);void(0);

    Yep, throw that into your URL and hit go and your lowercase site woes have met their end. I suggest adding it as a bookmark so you just have to click to fix hackaday’s stubbornness.

  17. Ross Snider says:

    The trick to the script I just posted is this: They decapitolized my script and broke it. View source or capitolize the following:

    - style_s_heets
    - add_r_ule
    - insert_r_ule

    _letter_ = capitalize the letter

  18. Geek505 says:

    Flash games?

    Just piss off hackaday…. you’re dead to me now. :(

  19. pelrun says:

    It seems that *any* blog that lasts more than a year or so suddenly fills up with whiners who complain about how shitty the site has become. Geez, grow up guys – go somewhere else, or only read the entries you’re interested in.

    As for this entry… well, I was waiting until the buzz had died down so I wouldn’t have to suffer a huge queue, and now I have to wait even longer. :p

  20. Reaper says:

    Being from Australia I can tell you this ploy from BP is a complete fraud!.

    At the time of writing this it is night time Australia wide and I am 112 in line and watching a live feed of the robot in “daylight”… it will still be cool to drive a little robot though

  21. Reaper says:

    And what the hell is going on with capitols??

  22. srimech says:

    I had a similar idea some time ago, making a real-life racing game between two or more RC cars. Trouble is the upstream speed on ADSL is too slow to send multiple video streams.

  23. Vulpyra says:

    I had a go on this, was brill! Reaper it is real, it’s set inside a big warehouse or something, you can see the sky is just painted on sheets or whatever because there are creases in it. It’s set indoors, with huge lights over it, for obvious reasons. Why would they advertise solar energy at night? :D I didnt bother getting any codes, just had fun making an ass of myself and running into as many other rovers as possible for a couple of minutes. Had about a 4 hour wait in the queue, just minimized it and went on with my work, kinda like ebay auctions! :P Btw, everyone who complains about hackaday: shush.

  24. Odin says:

    I’m glad that they posted this. This is very interesting (from a robot controls viewpoint) and I’m glad I didn’t need to scour the net for it.

  25. Mr. Mediocre says:

    This thing is pretty lame, I sat and waited for 2+ hours like most others, only to get huge lag for four minutes, and thats it… Plus if you look at the live feeds the sky is totally faked.

    Good day.

  26. Confused says:

    I’m confused — the robots are currently unavailable because they are being recharged by solar panels — at night. Is BP also the world’s leading provider of screen doors for submarines?

  27. michael says:

    Yeah, bp has solar panels on their roof which charge big batteries.

    Then they use those big batteries to charge the robot’s smaller batteries.

    (Ever seen a solar powered torch? It’s just recharging a battery)

  28. hutch says:

    Anyone know if it’s outdoors? I presumed it was in a dome or something…
    Tried queueing for 2.5 hours once and got to 5 mins then bumped to 1.5 hours, then finally when time was up I got told the ‘show’ was closed for the day. Damn other-side-of-world-ers.

  29. Michaël says:

    Its indeed some plastic foil dome. I saw it clearly driving onto one of the bridges

  30. sprocket says:

    I’ve driven these now a few times, there was a while when one of the cars had a blacked out screen due to a broken video camera, i also managed to make the camera freeze after ramming it off the bridge,

  31. gm says:

    I took a run-up at one of the rock walls:

  32. Sammy says:

    I live in Australia, and I didn’t have to wait at all it’s
    quite a fun little experience.

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