Smart Phone Robots

Smart Phone 1

A robot with a smart phone for a brain (and eyes).

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 (, 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.

1 Response to Smart Phone Robots

  1. Droid Stars says:

    That’s a very cool smartphone bot you have there but I think you can do some more things to refine the design. All those visible wires hurt eyes, you know.

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