The modern smartphone or tablet (mobile device) has more computing power than desktop computers had just 10 years ago. Modern mobile devices are full of sensors including: GPS, compass, 3-axis accelerometers, gyroscopes, etc and are well connected via cellular network, WiFi, and Bluetooth. Chances are, you have an old iphone or Android phone in a drawer somewhere collecting dust. Put it to good use making your next DIY project smarter.
Programming is an important part of many Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education programs. Breaking a large task into smaller tasks is at the core of programming, and easily demonstrated graphically by visual based programming languages like Catroid. Mobile devices with high resolution touch screen displays make visual programming a literal “hand-on experience”. Inserting the mobile device into a DIY project that moves according to the program written using the GUI provides direct visual and physical feedback of the programming effort.
STEMbot1 is a low-cost, easy to build, smartphone based robot. Controlled by any application that can playback a WAV file or generate audio tones. The robot can be built using an Android phone or an iphone. this instructable will provide direction for use on an Android phone. Catroid and RFO BASIC are the Android applications discussed in this instructable. Catroid is a graphical programming language based on MIT's Scratch. You can learn more about Catroid (and download it to your phone) here: http://blog.catroid.org/
Catroid controls the robot by playing back WAV files. WAV files are available to command the robot forward, right, left, and backward. You can download the WAV files from the EMGRobotics.com website or create them yourself using the EMGRobotics RC Servo Controller. Instructions to do both will be provided in this instructable.
For more advanced programmers, RFO BASIC for Android is a based on the language many of us learned to program on ourselves, BASIC. RFO BASIC was written by the creator of Atari BASIC (http://laughton.com/basic/
). You can download RFO BASIC with the servo command (required for this project) to your Android phone here:http://api.ning.com/files/-ughp-tcovJuOzH*k2w28M6wFpBZF3NkaBRYyUVZNaQB3C5isW3hJJdKZksfnOM4jRX-a*egceidA7dosdTENwbvXqNOQcts/Basic.apk