Controlling a swarm of robots with your hand sounds like something you would see on The Matrix or imagine would happen hundred years from now, but thanks to a group of computer engineer this could become a reality.
It’s undoubtedly hard to control large swarms of robots with the movement of your hard, if not impossible, but what if you’ve trained those robots to track the movement of your hand on a flat screen or at least the light that you control on a flat screen.
The GRITS Lab team, stationed at Georgia Tech, found motivation in the reaction of cats to laser light and started working on a project that would allow humans to control the movement of robots using a touch screen and source of light.
The robots that GRITS Lab created are unique because they’re not only able to follow the source of light, but they’re able to avoid each other and stay out of their way as well. This means that the direction control of groups of robots could become automated and easier than ever.
The only other thing, besides the robots, that the research team at Georgia Tech used were a smart tablet and a source for a red beam of light. This system consisted out of three different elements (robots, tablet, red light) worked just fine during its trial period at the university and scientists believe how it can become an important focus point in the industry.
The way the system works is actually very simple. You only need to point to a single spot on the tablet with your finger and the group of robots will follow the illumination created by the light source while managing to stay out of each other’s way thanks to constant communication between them.