Zooids: Building Blocks for Swarm User Interfaces


This paper introduces swarm user interfaces, a new class of human-computer interfaces comprised of many autonomous robots that handle both display and interaction. We describe the design of Zooids, an open-source open-hardware platform for developing tabletop swarm interfaces. We illustrate the potential of tabletop swarm user interfaces through a set of application scenarios developed with Zooids, and discuss general design considerations unique to swarm user interfaces.




Zooids: Building Blocks for Swarm User Interfaces.
Mathieu Le Goc, Lawrence Kim, Ali Parsaei, Jean-Daniel Fekete, Pierre Dragicevic, Sean Follmer
Proceedings of the 29th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software & Technology (UIST 2016), June 2016, Tokyo, Japan. pp.97-109 [pdf] (Best Paper Award)

Open Source Material

All the material to create Zooids is available on GitHub. Feel free to fork it, experiment and play with them, and suggest us your ideas fro improvement!


Inria -- New man-machine interface: mini-robots for display and interaction -- en || fr
Makery -- Zooids: who are these cute robots? -- en || fr
Gizmodo -- A Future Where Tiny Swarming Robots Bring Me My Phone Is the Future I Want
TechCrunch -- Swarms of tiny, cute robots will one day bring you your phone, like this
Elektor -- Zooids: Building Blocks for Swarm User Interfaces
Adafruit -- ‘Zooids’ are Open-Source, Open-Hardware ‘Bots for ‘Swarm User Interfaces’


This is a joint work with the Shape Lab at Stanford University (USA). It was partially funded by the Région Ile de France, DIM ISC-PIF. We would also like to thank Alexa Siu, Shenli Yuan, Ernesto Ramirez and Pham Minh Hieu for investing so much time and efforts in making this work possible.