Sunday, April 14, 2013

New Idea: Smartphone as Robotics Controller

Okay, so it's not really a new idea. The most obvious antecedents of this are Parrot's apps for controlling their consumer AR drones. But I've just recently started to think about this due to the fact that I'll be able to upgrade my smartphone with Verizon next week. I'll probably use this opportunity to pick up a Samsung Galaxy S3, as it's one of the most powerful and popular Android smartphones currently in the market. Another interesting problem that I've been pondering for the past week is what I'm going to do with my current device, the Motorola Droid 3, pictured above. All in all, it's an excellent smartphone, solidly built and reasonably powerful (1GHz dual-core CPU, 512MB of RAM, and 16GB of on-board storage). The fact that it will never receive an OS upgrade beyond Gingerbread from Verizon, though, is the motivation for replacing it as my main mobile device. I'm aware that it is now supported by CyanogenMod (though apparently without camera support), but I'm unwilling to replace the OS on my only smartphone without support from the carrier. The battery life has also dropped to about 6 hours with moderate usage. So I'm planning on picking up a brand new phone and using the Droid 3 as a test bench as I learn Android development for the first time and work towards a robotics controller application. What the application is going to control, though, I have not yet decided. I've already read the introduction articles and gone through the first-app tutorials on the official Android development site, and I'm also currently working through CommonsWare's The Busy Coder's Guide to Android Development v1.0.

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