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]
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.
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]