Yuta Sugiura and his colleagues at the Graduate School of Media Design, Keio University, have developed a new control scheme for robots and virtual characters called Walky for the iPhone. Rather than using a cumbersome game controller or keyboard, which may pose a problem for novice users, they can use Walky to control walking, turning, jumping, kicking, and other actions through simple finger gestures on the iPhone’s touch screen. The controls are shown working on a small bipedal humanoid robot, but could also be used to control game characters. Walky follows in the finger-steps of their laundry-folding robot and UI system called Foldy.
The Sugiura family regularly build robots and compete in hobby tournaments such as ROBO-ONE. You can watch a humorous video of one of their smallest robots battling here.