While we've given up on ever winning an online match of StarCraft II, that doesn't mean top-down unit control schemes are only for nerds in their mom's basement with their cheap rush tactics and Cheeto fingers and obscene triple digit APMs (we're not bitter or anything). In fact, we kind of like the look of this robot control interface, developed at UMass Lowell by Mark Micire as part of his PhD research. The multitouch UI puts Microsoft Surface to good use, with gestures and contextual commands that make operating an unruly group of robots look easy, and a console-inspired touch control setup for operating a single bot from a first person perspective as well. There are a couple videos after the break, the first is Mike operating an army of virtual robots, using Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio to simulate his soldiers and environment, but the second shows his first person UI guiding a real robot through a maze, in what amounts to a very, very expensive version of that Windows 95 maze screensaver.


Multi-robot command center built around Microsoft Surface (video)