Researchers at Georgia Tech have built a tablet-based system that lets people control a fleet of robots with just the swipe of a finger.
The system uses a beam of light on the floor, according to Georgia Tech. The ‘swarm' robots, which are in constant communication with each other, roll toward the illumination, and decide how to evenly cover the lit area.
Researchers say that when someone swipes the Apple iPad to drag the light across the floor, the robots follow. If, however, the person puts two fingers in different locations on the tablet, the machines split into teams and start the ‘swarm' process again.
‘Swarm' robots have already been tested by a number of organizations, from the U.S. military, to oceanographers. Georgia Tech says that its algorithm for controlling large teams of robots could be used in areas such as manufacturing, agriculture, and disaster relief.