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HTC Hero-controlled Mindstorms bot hints at Android uprising

Nilay Patel

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Using a cellphone to control a robot -- or a pretty sweet helicopter -- isn't exactly a new idea, but there's something about the combination of Android and Lego Mindstorms that promises to break the possibilities wide open. Swedish tech company Enea Linköping is one of the first we've seen to directly link an Android app to the Mindstorms brain over Bluetooth -- they're using an HTC Hero to control two simple rover bots. Unfortunately, since Android 1.5 doesn't support the Bluetooth serial profile, there's a hack involved: the phone actually sends out commands over WiFi,which are passed through a WiFi-Bluetooth tunneling app on laptop before hitting the bots. That means there's a little lag involved, but now that Android 2.1 has serial Bluetooth support we're hoping things get a little more streamlined in the future. Video after the break.

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