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 Eduardo Kac

Ornitorrinco pioneered the field of telerobotics and telepresence in art since 1989 – before the Web – as the first system which allowed users in public and private spaces to remotely access a fully mobile and wireless robot and alter the remote location (teleoperation) via the telephone network. Already in 1994, the same year of the Web explosion, Ornitorrinco was also experienced on the Internet.
Kac started to collaborate with Ed Bennett in Chicago. As a result, Ornitorrinco was designed, tested, and built. It is two feet square and 18 inches high (plus extendible antennae). The fundamentals of the telerobot's network topology were established (including the use of the ubiquitous telephone and the employment of DTMF signals for real-time motion control). Telepresence experiments from private and public telephones were carried out by Kac and Bennett throughout the year.