zerOnIne writes "Dr. Mark Micire of UMass Lowell has built an intriguing new user interface on the Microsoft Surface, a multitouch-capable table computer. The interface is being used to control swarms of robots for disaster response, search, and rescue. One of the most interesting things about it is the intuitive tabletop joystick widget. Using a very fast hand-detection-and-identification algorithm, they can paint a touch joystick (dubbed the DREAM controller) directly underneath the hand. This joystick conforms to the size of the user's hand and tracks with hand movements, making sure that the control is always directly under the hand where the user expects it, even without haptic feedback. I've had a chance to go hands-on with this system, and I think it's truly remarkable."