Power Struggle : Haptic Arm Wrestling

The simple power sport of arm wrestling now cross-country across the internet

Linking physical interactives through the Internet
Arm-wrestling is a simple sport: sit across any table from a friend or stranger, lock hands, and press as hard as you can. That simplicity and power is what Perfect Prototype helped create with an exciting application of Internet-based haptic technology.

Lynch Exhibits enlisted Perfect Prototype to work with a team from the New York Hall of Science to research and conceptualize a country-wide network of devices that would engage science center visitors in arm-wrestling competition. The result was a technologically clever yet uncomplicated unit for which Perfect Prototype helped design and integrate the software, electronics, and mechanicals.

How it works
Through touch, known as “haptic,” contestants force their strength and skill against a mechanical arm, which in turn, sends real-time information over the Internet to a matching arm-wrestling device at a remote or on-site location.

A centralized server tracks the status and location of units, records any errors, and tabulates a running total of the statistics between the locations.

To illustrate, a visitor to the New York Hall of Science can activate the arm-wrestling unit’s touch-screen, which finds and broadcasts a waiting competitor at one of a half-dozen science centers. Then they both take hold of the mechanical hand, and when the signal is given, wrestle back and forth while seeing and hearing the opponent on screen until a winner emerges.

A network of collaborators
The Internet Arm Wrestling Challenge exhibit is a collaborative project of Perfect Prototype, Lynch Exhibits, the New York Hall of Science, and the Tech Museum of San Jose.

Other participants include:

  • The Imaginarium – Anchorage, AK
  • The DaVinci Discovery Museum – Bethlehem, PA
  • Science Center of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa

Perfect Prototype’s Matt Browning is listed as an inventor of the patent-pending interactive.

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