New Tech: Cellbots -The iPhone Robot

Android_powered_robot_small A cellbot is a smartphone powered robot: a self-powered portable device, packed with electronics and sensors, with Wi-Fi connectivity, and the ability to run user-coded apps through an easy-to-use user interface.
A cellbot, as Kit Eaton at Fast Company describes it is a portable electronic brain perfectly suited to replace the dedicated and hardware-specific bundles of electronics that typically you'd need to control a robot.

 

At the upcoming app-centric developer conference AppCon 2010 they're holding a Cellbot Hackathon competition.
Cellbot competition coordinator Darrell Taylor, quoted in the press release, notes that "until the advent of the smartphone, building your own robot would've been an expensive and complicated process–not to mention the fact that you'd end up with a huge contraption." In his competition, participants get given the basic chassis of the device, to create a level playing ground, and they also get given the API and some example Android code to power the device. They'll then get to build their final bot, and compete against each other in how well each cellbot can "perform a specific, timed task."
What they'll actually have to do is a closely held secret, and won't be revealed until August 17th, just a week prior to the start of AppCon. 

Casey Kazan via Fast Company
http://www.fastcompany.com/1663535/cellbot-appcon-robots-smartphones-cell-phones-robotics-hackathon

 

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