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Some kind of robotics? (scripting, use of phone sensors)

    • 1 posts
    May 11, 2015 9:51 PM CEST

    Created an account to chime in on this discussion.  I think there is huge potential for SBRICK in robotics.  Last night I built a super simple little RC MOC and started thinking about the possibilities of robotizing it with SBRICK.  I love NXT, but it is bulky, expensive, and pegged to a fairly slow release cycle.  SBRICK + Power Functions + a moderate smartphone could provide very similar capabilities, at least when it comes to mobile robots, by leveraging the phone's sensor stack and APIs (accelerometer, gyro, GPS, microphone, speaker, camera(s), proximity sensors, etc.).

    Even mild computer vision functionality could be accomplished through the API - for example using Apple's face detection framework to look for and count faces to inform the robot's behavior.  

    I, for one, would support a separate Kickstarter (or similar) for a kid-friendly kit to bundle SBRICK, a controller app backend, and building instructions for starter robots.  A programming component on the phone itself would be great, but support for desktop OS programming similar to NXT would be ideal for me.

    This post was edited by Chris H at May 11, 2015 9:52 PM CEST
    • 178 posts
    February 5, 2015 3:14 PM CET

    It's good you have mentioned that, and it's even better you did it in this thread :)

    We kinda... restructured the android team, and a huge bugfix release is coming. We're working very hard on this, becase a LOT of folks has droids (including me :) ), and we're feeling very incomfortable with the current droid app.

    We're (closed) beta testing the profile designer as I've mentioned, and the programming feature - similar to your original suggestion - is also beta and is being tested right now.

    I can imagine how frustrated you might feel right now and I'm truly sorry for the negative experience. All I can do is to ask for a little more patience, because I know it's worth it.

    • 25 posts
    February 5, 2015 11:23 AM CET

    Hello Tamas,


    One month later, still nothing (at least for android users - and by nothing, I mean gyros not working, switch off buttons not working, still connection pb, joystinck not working, no profile designer, etc.). Everybody can't have an IOS device.

    We all appreciate your wishes and plans, but some news for android world would be very appreciated.

    Especialy as other similar projects are emerging, like, with yet much usable app.


    • 178 posts
    January 5, 2015 5:15 PM CET

    Hello Sylvain,

    thank you for your suggestions.

    We're developing a "profile designer" application. With this application one will be able to create custom control profiles.

    Our future plans include limited programmability FRP-style (function reactive programming).

    We also thought about using the phone's sensors, you can use a "Joystick" profile on iOS that uses the accelerometer to determine the phone's deviation from vertical position, and use the information to drive SBrick channels, so your phone will act like a joystick.

    • 25 posts
    December 27, 2014 9:53 PM CET



    A suggestion of mine would be to have the ability in the app to script some actions. Some instructions examples:

    run(motor B, 15 seconds, 1/3 speed, clockwise),

    stop(allmotors, 20 seconds),

    wait(3600 seconds),


    run(motor A&B, 10 seconds, fullspeed, counterclockwise),


    run(motorC, until(IsTrue(PhoneSensor(compass) = 210°), halfspeed, clockwise),

    etc... (with loop, if then else, etc structures also :-) )

    This could be very useful and open many possibilities for just gaming but also during meetings (like with train sets which could be automated)!


    Phone sensors could also be available (like compass, run camera on/off or taking pictures, GPS, etc.).


    Of course I know that this is quite a huge development job, but I'm pretty sure that many AFOLs could help.


    What do you think?


    Best regards and happy new year!!!

    This post was edited by Sylvain CACHEUX at December 27, 2014 10:18 PM CET