A new startup named Romotive is developing a small, tank treading robot called “Romo” that can be controlled by iPhone and Android smartphones by communicating with it through audio signals. Another prototype robot named iZac has also been developed by a programmer Nick Johnson, using the Android provided open kit for accessory development. This robot has a controller board by Arduino Mega and is designed for tablets of Motorola Zoom.
Romotive, which is a start up that Phu Nguyen and Peter Seid runs, has collected $114,000 from 1,100 plus contributors who are looking forward to buy the Romo robots. This project had been initially launched on the website of KickStarter and is now at production stage for the robot that is controllable on iPhone, iPod Touch and Android smartphones.
The Romo has been kept at a low pricing of $78 as most of its capabilities have already been provided for by the smartphones of the customer. The phone can be connected to the device’s top giving it eyes, ears and a face or it can simply be remote-control operated using Wi-Fi.
The robot has a motorized base having tank treads, four wheels along with rechargeable battery. The accessory port provided is for plugging in the smartphones, and communication is done through customized analog circuit boards that use audio frequencies, which get translated to action through twin motor outputs.
Planning is on for an app store to sell the apps designed for Romo, but the same can be initially downloaded in Android Markets and through iTunes. This robot initially features a spy robot app called RomoRemote, which can control the camera on the smartphone. A multi-user race game has also been provided, which is enabled to make digital attacks for disabling the power of the opponents and deflecting the digital bombs that the opponents throw.
iZac, the bartender of Android: Robot enthusiasts can often feel thirsty while playing with their machines thereby giving programmer Nick Johnson the idea of developing a robot that functions as a bartender. The iZac was demonstrated recently in Sydney, Australia where it served drinks to the persons attending. The controlling software from Android allows the users to choose from a cocktails list, which the iZac has to mix. Another button provided called “I am feeling Lucky” selects three liquids randomly, which can often lead to very funny or utterly disgusting results. There however are certain flaws in the robot which Johnson hopes to address pretty soon.