Posted by : Amber Marfatia

We do know and realize that every computing device (smart phones, tablets or laptops / desktops) has processing power. But what if that is bi-directionally used as a robot with no frills to it? Sounds fun at least if not far from being more productive!

iPhone is for sure one of the best phones we have in the market and has been in possession of many people! So, why not to use it as a bot?

There are many robots running on top of iOS but i will talk about 2 such in this post (which i found very interesting - and of course i will be always bias towards Lego)

ROMO:

Romotive is back with a brand new bot! Romo is an affordable, personal robot that uses your iDevice as his brain. He’s cute, responsive, and really fast, but he’s still not capable of doing all that stuff you see in the movies.
To use Romo, download an app and plug your phone into the robotic base. You can control it from any iDevice or your Mac. 
Right now, there’s no wallet-friendly, backpack-sized consumer robot on the market that does these things:
1. Remote 2-way telepresence
2. Computer vision
3. Autonomous navigation
4. Facial recognition

Romo can be controlled by an iPhone 5 running their app.
The company suggests to use an older device with the 30 pin dock connector on the robotic base. The company is designing the next robot to use the new Lightning connector as a docking station. Romo gets smarter over time through app updates and behaviours created by people.It also includes autonomous navigation
One has to shell out $149 to get a piece of it! And yes, they ship it outside US too!!! (with $50 extra)
What's In The Box
  • Romo, the smartphone robot
  • Custom mini USB charging cable
  • Romo quick start card
  • Product info guide
 It is a worth an attempt to give it a shot and check out what all fun things one can do, but don't expect that it will improve the productivity! Check out more at https://romotive.com/



The 2nd bot that i am a fan of belongs to Lego family. Lego bricks are getting cozy with the iPhone and other Apple devices in the latest incarnation of the Mindstorms robotics kit.

Lego is set to announce Monday that a new, $350 Mindstorms EV3 kit will have the ability to talk to iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches through Bluetooth wireless connections. That means Lego builders can use the devices as remote controls for their robots, or create simple programs that are then sent to the robots to control their actions.

Lego said the kit will go on sale in the second half of the year. It was announced as the International CES gadget show begins in Las Vegas this week.

Remote control was already possible with Android smartphones and the most recent Mindstorms kit, the NXT. Apple devices didn't work because the "brain" of the kit - a juice-box-sized electronic brick - lacked a chip that would identify the Lego gadget to Apple devices.

Also new in the Mindstorms EV3 kit is a "two-eyed" infrared sensor that can pick up signals from a small infrared remote and locate it. In the kit, Lego includes the blueprints for a snake robot that uses its eyes to sense if someone is close to its head, in which case it strikes.

The EV3 will also be the first Mindstorms kit to be available in Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Russian. Previous kits have been in English, Japanese and a few other European languages.

As with earlier kits, the EV3 includes four motors and five different sensors. The new brick is compatible with earlier sensors and motors and is "more hackable than ever," according to Lego. The first Mindstorms came out in 1998.


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