robots

Android smartphones harnessed for autonomously controlling robots

It’s not unheard of that Android smartphones can be used to control other devices, say with the GMote app for remote media playback on your computer.  But Tim Heath and Ryan Hickman, a duo of web engineers, are going beyond the “remote control” concept, having built an Android-powered robot with the lofty ambitions of autonomously controlling itself.

LEGO Mindstorms gets Android remote control [Video]

The Japanese PLEN robot - that used an Android smartphone as its remote - is great, but at $3,000 it's a little too expensive for the casual hobbyist.  Instead, how about using some more affordable LEGO Mindstorms kit; that's what the Enea Android team have done, taking advantage of the Mindstorms' integrated Bluetooth to remotely control it from an HTC Hero. Movement is handled by physically tilting the phone, and the user can switch between guiding more than one robot.  It's not quite as straightforward as pairing the Mindstorms 'bot with the Hero, however, since the Android 1.5 OS the smartphone is running doesn't actually support the Bluetooth serial profile (SPP).  Instead, the Hero gets a WiFi link to a nearby laptop, and the laptop bridges the connection via its own Bluetooth adapter. Still, Android 2.1 supports SPP, and so we can only hope an update to the app is in the works.  There's plenty of cheap LEGO Mindstorms kit on eBay, after all. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=434hbckPz6o[/youtube] [via Recombu]

Plen, an Android-controlled android

Plen is a “desktop hobby robot” released by Akazawa (think Japanese hacker whizzes), and has a name derived from the English word “Plain”. But this little android is anything but plain, as it’s a miniature bipedal robot that can be controlled via your Android handset.

Now, When Using Android, GTalk Status Icons Become Exactly that, Androids

Okay, so this one is cool, it could be fun for many, but it could also mean a privacy attack to many others. What am I talking about? Well, about the new way to identify if you are using Android or not. First, lets check the image below to see what this is about. Apparently, the way this works is; the green robot/android icon means you are online with Android. The green dot means that you are using regular Gmail chat. The orange robot means that you are using Android but currently away. And the red robot means you are a mad robot, no, I'm just joking, it means you are currently busy but still using Android. So there you have it folks, Google has name this the Turn on Green Robot, which is a new experiment in Gmail Labs. Cool, right? Well, like I mentioned before, many will find this as an attack to their privacy. Let us know in the comments what you think about it.

Surveyor Android G1-controlled robots: Video Demos

Considering the name of the platform, I'm surprised we've not seen more robots either based on, or controlled by, Android.  With that in mind, here are two 'bots that rely on a T-Mobile G1 for their remote control; one which wouldn't look out of place patrolling battlefields, the other slightly more bizarre. The tech is supplied by open-source robotics experts Surveyor, who are offering a control console for their SRV-1 robot controller.  You can download the code from the project page. As for the SRV-1, it's a modular robot platform that can be hooked into a variety of motors, camera units, and other devices.  You can either buy the parts separately and construct your own 'bot, or you can stop by one of several vendors and pick up a pre-built machine.  [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmzeTcKvmjE[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxn8gNZhe7E[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zz6X4BJ1ZFw[/youtube] [via Droideo]
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