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The Item Router is used to sort items on Conveyor Belts, much like a BuildCraft Diamond Transport Pipe is used to sort items in pipes. The Item Router can also accept inputs from BuildCraft Pipes, RedPower2 Tubes, and Applied Energistics ME Networks. However, the Item Router will only output to the air, an adjacent inventory, or a BuildCraft pipe. Item routers can pull things off of Conveyor Belts placed on top of them if that item has a valid route in the router. Due to the ability of the Item Router to output items to the air, the top of the Item Router is a valid input but not output to avoid items bouncing in and out forever.
The colored slots in the Item Router GUI correspond to the colored faces of the five possible outputs for the Item Router. The Item Router cannot be rotated with a Precision Sledgehammer to change the color of each facing.
The Item Router can be used to duplicate items. This is done by putting a conveyor belt on top of the router, adding the item to duplicate to the filter for the side that the conveyor belt is pointing to, and setting the option that is listed on the button at the top of the GUI to 'Yes'. Then, simply stand in front of the face that has the filter set, and throw the items at the top of the conveyor. If everything works properly, you should get more items than you started with!