2011 opportunities for UNH CS students: multi-touch surface interaction

I am seeking UNH CS students (individuals or teams) interested in developing a user interface on a multi-touch table. The interface would allow a human operator to control a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This project will part of a collaborative effort with WPI on creating a fleet of UAVs. Students at WPI will focus on building the UAVs. Students at UNH will work on communication issues (with Professor Nicholas Kirsch) and on user interface issues (with me).

What should the user interface do?

The operator should be able to view and manipulate data sent out by the UAV fleet. Data types of interest include images, video, sounds and outputs from various sensors (temperature, pressure, accelerometers, etc.). Data manipulation will require some simple processing, such as setting beginning and end points for sounds, zooming images, etc. It will also require more complex processing of data, e.g. filtering.

What are the data sources?

Eventually, the data will come from UAVs. However, as a first step, data will be generated through games, similarly to work done by Jatin Matani and Trupti Telang. Thus, we might utilize cell phones to get images, webcams to get video, and Arduino boards to generate sensor data (e.g. temperature).

What platform will be used?

The project will leverage Project54’s Microsoft Surface multi-touch table. Here is a video by UNH ECE graduate student Tim April introducing some of the interactions he has explored with the Surface.

Is this a job, a project, or something else?

CS students would be able to use this effort as a senior project (details to be worked out with appropriate CS faculty). An independent study might also be a possiblity. Finally, I am interested in hiring students for academic year and/or summer jobs.

Can CS and ECE students collaborate?

Collaboration is not a requirement. However, some aspects of this work might benefit from the involvement of one or more UNH ECE students. E.g. ECE students can work on some of the data processing aspects of the projects, as well as on creating data sources (e.g. deployment of wireless sensor networks). I am actively recruiting ECE students for multi-touch projects and you are welcome to talk to your friends in ECE.

What are the required skills? And what new skills will I acquire?

For CS students, work on this project will require object-oriented programming that is necessary to control the multi-touch table. You will explore the application of these skills to the design of surface user interfaces as well as experiments with human subjects – after all we will have to systematically test your creation!

Interested? Have questions, ideas, suggestions?
Email me.