New iPhone Robot Remote-Control Lets Your Fingers Do the Walking

A brilliantly intuitive interface for robot control, designed by Japanese researchers (of course).

iphone walk

Okay so imagine you’re designing a remote control for a two-legged robot. The task, basically, is to translate those walking motions into the controller movements–and usually, these two don’t have any intuitive relationship with each other. That’s why it takes so long to learn how to control a videogame, for example–the language on the screen (or in the robot) is different from that in your hands. Now, you can solve that with gestural interfaces, but there’s a simpler way.


Researchers at Keio University recognized that problem, and designed a solution that simply requires an iPod. “Kiwalky” simply uses the iPhone’s touch screen, and you control the robot simply by walking with your fingers. A kicking motion makes the robot kick, and a tapping motion makes it jump. Amazing potential for toys and games, right?

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The project is set to debut in December at SIGGRAPH Asia.

[Via Designboom]


About the author

Cliff was director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.


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