Bucking Bronco at Pioneers

Bucking Bronco

The Bucking Bronco is a small mechanical ride, controlled by a single operator, commonly seen at fairs and hired for small events.

A rider mounts the Bucking Bronco, and then it spins and bucks around, whilst they try to stay on. Once they fall off, the ride has finished.

At Pioneers 09, a research showcase for the EPSRC, we took a Bucking Bronco, and a set of riders. Members of the public were allowed to control the ride. However, rather than being able to see the rider and the ride, as a normal operator would, instead the riders were fitted with physiological monitoring technology, and the controller had to use these signals to run the ride, from behind a medical screen (see below).

Bronco Control Panel

The aim of this was to explore how a ride might adapt using only signals from the physiological monitoring kit. Obviously the people doing this adaptation are rather more sophisticated than a computer algorithm, but this at least provided a proof of concept for adapting rides based on the data.

You can see a video of this event on youtube, which was also presented at Ubicomp 2009.