In this paper we investigate whether the use of a multitouch interface allows users of a supervisory control system to perform tasks more effectively than possible with a mouse-based interface. Supervisory control interfaces are an active field of research, but so far have generally utilized mouse-based interaction. Additionally, most such interfaces require a skilled operator due to their intrinsic complexity. We present an interface for controlling multiple unmanned ground vehicles that is conducive to multitouch as well as mouse-based interaction, which allows us to evaluate novice users’ performance in several areas. Results suggest that a multitouch interface can be used as effectively as a mouse-based interface for certain tasks which are relevant in a supervisory control environment.

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