Microraces over the internet

In 2011 we wanted to check whether it was possible to remote control a physical object over the internet in real time, so we set up a project racing radio controlled microcars ovether the internet. The cars are just 4 centimetres long. We created two tracks (no larger than an average table) in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Software and hardware development took several months. After numerous checks and tweaks we launched the project in live testing mode - we organised competions in microcar hockey and a King of the hill championship, with real prizes for the winners. The real prizes were an important moment – the players started out with high demands to the system. Exactly what we needed. The cars and game elements (hockey pucks) were tagged with QR codes, which enabled the system to automatically track goals and victories in King of the hill.

 Карта игроков в интернет-гонки на реальных машинках
The outcome of the project pleased us: remote control over the internet turned out to be possible
People from many different cities took part in the races. While driving a car on the St. Petersburg track from Moscow, the lag between pressing the forward button on the keyboard and the car on his screen satarting to move was only 0,1 (one tenth) of a second.  Users from remote regions experienced a latency of 0,2-0,5 seconds.
Here are some interesting photos:
Трасса для царя горы и хоккея на микромашинках  Царь горы на микромашинках через интернет
Хоккей на микромашинках  
  • We started the project on Habrahabr.ru - here's the saved post from the site (in Russian) with all the comments (in case it gets lost there, you never know). In the first few hours there were as much as 300 (three hundred) people queing to race on each track!
  • A detailed history of the project (blog posts) can be found here.
  • Currently, the project is discontinued - all field tests were successfull.