I was wondering if anyone had experience using any cellphones apps that allow you to use your cellphone as a control interface to drive a robot. Thanks


I don’t, but I did see one this weekend at the AUVSI robosub competition. Very interesting!

This is the Mesa team. I don’t have any more info about them, but you might find some more info at

A company called Robolytics, a sponsor of teams 2337 and 1684 based in Lapeer, MI, designed a product called iAMdriver which essentially replaces the cRIO on a FIRST robot and allows the robot to be driven by an Apple iDevice (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch). It’s a rather inexpensive and very user-friendly system to use: the accelerometer on the device is used to drive the robot by holding the device flat and tilting it to control. Also, there are controls for both digital and analog outputs on the interface for the proprietary (free) iDevice application.

The device is distributed by AndyMark and can be found on their website here. It’s a great system to use for robot demonstrations where the intent is to allow people not involved with FIRST to drive a team’s robot. Instead of spending ten minutes explaining controls, you can hand someone an iPhone/iPad/iPod, tell them “Tilt to drive” and spend that ten minutes pitching FIRST and FRC.

My apologies if this sounds like a sales pitch: it is after all something that our team takes a lot of pride in, and that I personally find great fun to use.

I know that there are other similar systems that perform similar functions, though. The uCANDrive, a similar system designed by Cross The Road Electronics, uses an Android app to control CAN hardware. I suppose I could talk this up, too, but lack of familiarity and willingness to elaborate is a good recipe for a sticky situation O.o

This may help. It uses a car, but you could easily put the motors on a robot instead of having them push down on the acceleration and brakes of a car.

This appears to be first rate spam, but I can’t quite tell, thoughts?
EDIT: After a look at minol’s past posts this is definitely spam. Reported.

PS If the programmer of this bot happens past: congrats, it is fairly convincing.

Mesa college used an Android Optimus V phone with a sparkfun “IOIO” board and a custom app for their Robosub.

In terms of existing apps:
-Hackaday has had a couple posted I think

Mesa college is working on open sourcing their code but frankly for general purpose applications, the DIYDrones “PhoneDrone” or Google ADK community is where I would look. We had issues with the PWM outputs on the IOIO not pushing enough current for some of our needs, but otherwise the IOIO was nice to work with.

Lessons learned:
-magnetometer is no substitute for gyroscope
-relying on the cellphone’s IMU limits your options or dictates cell phone selection(potentially driving up cost)
-having to use an external IMU detracts from some selling points of cell phone control
-RC Plane electronic speed controllers expect an arming sequence before they will respond to PWM signals
-iPhone vs. Android: Android has OpenCV…
Final Conclusion:
Make sure cell phone selected meets necessary specs required by application.