Romotive startup has designed “Romo”, a tank-like Robot controlled by Android or/and iOS mobile devices.
Peter Seid and Phu Nguyen – Romotive’s co-founders – have raised over 114,000 USD on KickStarter website from more than 1,100 contributors looking to buy the Romo robot. The company has reached its founding target (32,000 USD) and can now move forward on production.
You can still get the Robot for 78 USD (+12 USD shipping if you live outside the US) on KickStarter. You’ll need two Android or iOS devices to play with it: one acting as a camera that sits on the “Romo” and the other to control the robot’s movements and receive the camera stream via Wi-Fi. The motors are interestingly controlled by audio signals coming from the smartphone.
Romo’s Hardware is composed of the following:
- A motorized, acrylic base with an accessory port that can be controlled by any smartphone (or iPod Touch).
- Rechargeable battery.
- Charging cable.
- Analog circuitry with two motor outputs, compatible with any phone that can emit the right frequencies to drive the motors.
Romo’s software will be downloadable though the iTunes app store and Android Market and at first it will come with the following applications:
- RomoRemote: Turn Romo into a spy robot. You can see where Romo is going via the smartphone camera and send audio “shout-outs”. You can now download the iPhone/iPad Version, but the Android is not released yet.
- Romo Kart: Race against your friends in a mixed-reality version of Mario Kart game. You can send digital attacks and have your friend’s robot spin out of control. You can also disable their power, deflect bombs, and reverse their controls as you race towards the finish line.
- Drag and Drop Programming Module: You can program Romo right on your smartphone and watch him execute your commands. Features of the drag and drop programming app includes: movement, conditional statements, loops, and reference to other functions.
Romotive team is also working on iOS / Android libraries and documentation and an SDK will be made available in due time. They also plan to release full detail on the design under open source license and develop new hardware modules.
They encourage hardware and software hackers to give feedback and ideas or share their designs on Romotive Forum.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.