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‘Disaster Bots’ Controlled by Multi-touch
Rescue Robots
A universal easy-to-learn robot control interface for emergency first responders
By Julie Beck

What they found, when doing trial runs with the joystick widget on the multi-touch screen, was that it wasn’t intuitive. Users reacted to it in a lot of different ways, and without the tactile feedback of a physical joystick, kept having to look down and reorient themselves. “People were using things in a way we hadn’t intended and we started to, at that point, really see the complexities within multitouch control,” Yanco says.

To try and come up with a better controller, Micire and one of his coworkers sat in the lab and drew joystick after joystick - “everything back to the old Atari controllers,” he says. Eventually they zeroed in on the circular thumb motion provided by today’s PlayStation and Xbox controllers, and it became their inspiration for what would become the DREAM (Dynamically Resizing Ergonomic and Multi-touch) controller.

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