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Droid From Motorola :: A Robot ?      ...     36278 Views
Author's name: WeRbots       

It`s been a while since I created a new project for Cwhat I can Do, so here goes.

I obtained a Motorola Droid. (They finally got on Verizon - The only network that covers the Santa Cruz Mountains.)

But I`m a robot guy? So what Have I got in Mind for a Phone that calls itself a Robot? Well, of course I`ve got an idea or two...

I`ve been considering using ATX mini motherboards, web books, you name it. So along comes Droid. The more I read about it, the more it seems like this is something I could use to control a Robot.

And maybe, just maybe, could become the central controller for my Dream Robot? High Hopes for this platform, and now that I have one, I am not disappointed.
Author's Assigned Keywords:    Robot    robotics    Android    Droid    Droid Smart Phone

  (ad)
What I Believe We Can Do     
What seems doable:

Javascript driven web-pages that control robots through a web interface.

I tested this: You can visit the webpage yourself at ilysa.com/car.php Use a Droid, or presumably, your iphone should also work.

What you can expect: Testing the viability of server feedback... It works! So you can use this scheme to make a radio-controlled car respond through the ports on a laptop running apache webserver!

What`s buggy: I haven`t made the screen "sit still" so when you swipe on a Droid (at least), the screen bounces around... I took the test no further, because I could see it could be done.

Serial Output To Control a Bot     
I`ve been attending online YouTube "classes" and have discovered, it`s better than I hoped originally...

I can talk through the serial port (which can also keep the batteries charged :-)...

This means I can control a robot base (for example, I can control an i-robot which is one of the best you can get as far as a compliment of built-in sensors, etc...

I haven`t tried this yet, but have no reason at all to believe it will not work. Because there are calls I can make to communicate on the serial port. The hooks are all there it seems.
Built In GPS, Compass, plus Accelerometers     
Wow!

It is true, you can have applications level access to some pretty high-performance code that makes me imagine quite a few things:

GPS: Now my robotic helper can figure out where he is, so he could conceivably mosey the quarter-mile into town to bring me the key to the mailbox (or other imaginable function)... Yes, it`s +- a few meters, but close enough to intrigue a robot-nut.

Compass: Yes, a compass is built in, and its` pretty sensitive. Hopefully sensitive enough to do some gross navigation to help get my Robot Helper get moving in the right direction.

Accelerometer for Bot-Balancing:

Frankly, I don`t know if it is sensitive enough, but it is conceivable, you could clip the Droid into a segue style two-Wheeled upright Robot. I`ll have to try that with the RFL robot and see if a simple fuzzy logic algorithm could operate in the 500 mHz Droid processor and the signals could travel on the serial port fast enough to keep the thing balanced???

At least a Droid Controlled bot would know when it had crashed, The sensitivy can be enough to use in driving games, so it is possible, you can enhance the basic robot`s powers.

Get stuck? You should know by the accelerometers...


Robot Feedback     
Faces:
No longer limited to small arrays of led`s to supply a moving mouth, you can animate any mouth you want, by using the screen of the Droid as the "Face" of the bot.

Camera:
Look around. Is there enough juice in the processor for face recognition? Maybe not, but you can write pieces of code in good ole C (you have limited libs), so it seems potentially there...

Touch Screen:
Interact with your bot when it is physically around by tapping it`s "face".

Text To Speech and Speech to Text:
You`d probably have to override the existing voice search, but the potential is in there to talk to and be heard by your Droid Powered Robotic Friend.
Summary     
There is no doubt about it. Motorola`s Hardware and Google`s software on a Verizon network at least has produced a killer smart phone.

I`ve tried `em all, since the HP95 hand calculator with built in to do lists and my whole personal world of contacts. It cost me over a thousand bucks, it wouldn`t do much. I`ve been through Palm`s pioneering Grafiti, and got pretty proficient at it. I`ve used Motorola`s original Folding Palm Top...

This is it.

i-Phones wouldn`t let me do things I could imagine. Yes, they are pretty, yes they pioneered...

I don`t know if there is enough "juice" in the Droid to do everything I`ve imagined on this short list, but I`m thinking if this thing catches on, improvements in processing power are almost unavoidable, so someday you will clamp your Droid into your Robotic Assistant`s "HEAD" so it can serve you soup and crackers...

My imagination is going crazy with ideas... Have we been handed the ultimate Robot Accessory?

Could be!!!!
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It's Easy To:

C - What - I - Can - Do

• Sign up - Get ID and Password

• Plan and Create a Project That Someone Might Enjoy and May Even Want to Build

• Link to your creation on your favorite social networking site or blog.

• Become famous! Because your projects get a lot of Hits!

 

Do It Yourself Parts Used To Create This Project.

- PARTS LIST -

DROID
Mfr: Motorola
Price $600.00
PN-SKU: MOTA855
Vendor: Motorola - Google - Verizon



 

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