Our smart phone bots use a smart phone (currently Android phones) for the robots’ brains. This has a number of advantages over the netbook bots. Smart phones are smaller, allowing the use of smaller robot bodies that often have longer battery life. Smart phones have more useful built-in sensors, in addition to a camera (or two) and a microphone, they have GPS, accelerometers, tilt sensors, and a compass. All of which are (relatively) easily accessed through software.
Smart phones do have a few disadvantages. It’s a bit trickier to have them host USB. Android phones will do so with Open Accessory (http://developer.android.com/tools/adk/index.html), but only to some microcontrollers. iPhones won’t host USB at all. To avoid the USB difficulties we have been using a spinal cord/microcontroller that is Bluetooth enable and communicate via Bluetooth. The programming environments available for smart phones is more limited than with a netbook, but this is rapidly changing as more languages and IDEs become available.