I think it's much more than that. It's not just the interface that's used to program, but also the hardware, software, and firmware modules involved, how they behave, how they react and interact. Matt talked about the Illuminato X Machina units as autonomous cells that each had specific abilities, could sense and reflexively respond to each other, and could even influence the behavior of their neighbors.
Robust physical computing and living computation, is built on this concept as well and takes it one step further. It's similar to thinking about everything as a set of interactions between living organisms that are part of an ecosystem.
There are a few other specialized members of the Illuminato X Machina robust physical computing ecosystem that make it a little more diverse and much more functional.
First is the Illuminato X Machina Red Terminal Programmer. The red terminal is a special cell that serves a specific function: relaying information directly to a set of neighboring cells. It has 3 onboard type B-mini USB connections, each equipped with its own FTDI chip so they can be independently controlled. Each USB connection is then linked to a single face, to offer independent control of each of its neighbors through the computer. With 2 USB ports connected, the Red Terminal will be able to provide enough power for just a small grid of IXM cells to program on the fly. Since the Red Terminal's unique role is to serve as a conduit for information and power, it does not have a microprocessor of its own. Much like a red blood cell that it lacks a nucleus because its shape has evolved to specialize as an oxygen carrier.
Red Terminal in action:
Illuminato X Machina cell, dubbed the Weapons Grade cell. It's equipped with white LEDs, as well as current sensing and incoming power defense on all four edges. The more complex power routing capabilities on the Weapons Grade cells make them essential for grids experimenting with advanced power-related applications. For most conventional grids, they usually serve specific roles, and may simply be sprinkled across a tribe as neeeded. Or maybe because they look like UFOs :-)
The 7-pin Intercellular Matrix Headers are the glue that holds Illuminato X Machina cells together, both for structural integrity of the array, as well as for communication purposes. Either 1 or 2 can be used to bridge two cells together, depending on whether the extra connection on the opposite face of the cell is necessary.