We’ve seen the iPhone remotely control toy helicopters, model race cars, even work remotely with your computer, but now we have a hack by Avadhut Deshmukh that combines all that. It’s an iPhone controlled laptop on wheels!
To control the robot, you press buttons on the iPhone’s keyboard to send commands to the laptop, which controls the direction that the robot it sits on will go in via an attached Arduino board.
Having a laptop on top of a robot might be a bit bulky, but it comes with advantages. The set up is Internet-connected and could be controlled by almost anything, anywhere in the world. It could also be connected to peripherals or software you can run on your PC. Avadhut says in this hack his computer can “follow certain colors, follow human faces, detect flames, drive around the house avoiding walls,” and be driven by a Wii Remote.
The robot also feeds video from the laptop’s webcam to the iPhone’s screen, so you aren’t blindly trying to navigate a remote room.
This bot isn’t Avadhut’s first phone-based robot hack, but it is a bit more advanced than his last, which was powered by two cellphones.
Check out the Instructables project page for full instructions.