Mark Micire of UMass Lowell is a forward thinking dude. Right now, most of us don't even have one robot, let alone a swarm. But someday, we'll be tripping over 'em! Micire's multitouch interface will help keep them in line.
Micire's interface is built atop Microsoft Surface, and marks one of the neatest (and perhaps most useful) applications for the technology. Through simple, intuitive fingertip commands, Micire is able to select bots from the group, set waypoints and coordinate their formation from above, effortlessly flicking around multiple commands at once. Users can also swoop down for a street-level view and manual control of each bot, providing a tactical edge and a throng of eyes on the ground.
The whole thing is a little Flight Control, a little StarCraft, and entirely cool. But beyond the obvious gamer-drool inducing factor, we're sure this little demo might pique the interest of those in the military, police, and rescue teams, for whom the movement of robots is more than a game. [MAKE via BotJunkie]