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Computer: Network: Wireless: Ad-Hoc
Wii POI Riding Mower   (+3)  [vote for, against]
Use Nintendo's Wii to mow the lawns while you tour famous sites.

Thanks to Google Earth, and nifty GPS features that focus on Points of Interest (POI), a webbed traveler can get the sensation of what it must be like to be in the vicinity of many of the worlds' POI such as the Marine Memorial in DC or the Eiffel Tower in Paris. All so cool.

All that's needed to make your visit complete is to be contributing in some meaningful way to the maintenance and support of these wonders. A network of distributed groundskeepers who operate remotely controlled lawn mowers or street sweepers, and perhaps wet vacs and floor polishers through their home or portable high speed internet connections could accomplish simple but labor intensive tasks from their broadcast points.

Naturally, this would require a proof of concept trial that for safety reasons would likely be done after sites were closed to the public for the day and non-revenue generating visitors (read: government contractors) can freely observe and test safety aspects of the systems. This service, if proved reliable, could be expanded to other public services that might benefit from micro-contributions of time and off site facility management.

I'm sure with enough fine tuning the system could be adapted to users with special talents such as Bonsai or Topiary where their artistry would be beneficial, or finding and reporting empty parking spaces to motorists.
-- reensure, Dec 19 2007

1. We're bringing teleworking to manual labour, by way of the wii interface
2. We're using the volunteer labour of virtual tourists in the same way as we might use voluntary cash contributions by actual tourists. Maybe it could be made less voluntary if virtual access to certain areas were made available only to virtual maintenance staff who had already contributed some work.

The possibility of remote vandalism would be a concern, I think, and if the software in the lawnmowers, etc., could be made clever enough to render that impossible, then I think the management would be inclined to automate the whole job fully, roomba-style.

I can imagine part 1 having a life of its own, though. Imagine a product labeled 'made in [your western country]', which did indeed emerge from a factory in that country, but the workers concerned were actually sitting in a sweatshop in a lower-cost country, wii-ing away.
-- pertinax, Dec 19 2007

If this sort of remotely virtual groundskeeping was marketed as a game, with points scored for bits of rubbish picked up, square metres of lawn mown, bonus levels ("You have a high score! You get to mow the lawn around the grave of Karl Marx!") it might be more popular.
-- hippo, Dec 19 2007

// remote vandalism //

YAY ! Have a bun ... [+]

// its of rubbish picked up //

Simple. Make it a battle-bots game where each bit of rubbish equals "power points" and lets your bot go further, faster, "buys" better vision, manipulators.....

Olympic remote litter-picking ?
-- 8th of 7, Dec 19 2007

How many points for sweeping up feral cats?
-- RayfordSteele, Dec 19 2007

random, halfbakery