Some time ago the phones were used only for communication while the tablets were not even invented. Once with the invention of touch sensitive displays and processor manufacturers consistently delivered processors with increased power, the smartphones and tablets have become powerful computing resources that can run complex operating systems and can be connected via various technologies with other devices or gadgets. While some of us play games or navigate on the Internet, some users connect mobile devices like a smartphone or a tablet with robots.
The robots are becoming more common and can be found in many places like homes, offices, or public spaces. All these robots have to be controlled and monitored. Using mobile resources like smartphones or tablets which runs the Android operating system, any user can control and monitor robots with just a click or simple movements.
The gap between a mobile device and a computer in terms of processing capabilities diminished in time and we can see every day more and more applications which can run on these little devices.
LEGO is one of the most innovative company in the world, a company who designs and build one of the most appreciated toys. The Mindstorms NXT kits were born in Lego labs and is a complete kit designed to build robots in various forms. NXT is the brain of the robot used as a link between the LEGO robot and the device used to control the robot.
The NXT provides a series of possibilities to connect a device with the robot. Most used methods for connection is the wireless Bluetooth technology, it is also a commonly used technology in mobile devices.
A lot of applications are designed to run on Android based devices and control the NXT robot. Even you want to receive video images, sounds, or to recognize faces, the Mindstorms NXT kit used together with an Android device can be a useful tool for entertainment or used in practical applications like monitoring the house. Even more, to control the robot is required simple movements, tilts, or just a simple flick of a finger.
Supported by many communities and with a large knowledge base, any robotics fan can develop an application for Android devices. Also, Lego company created user-friendly instruments for users who wants to control Mindstorms NXT robots with mobile devices using Bluetooth wireless technology. Almost all applications presented in this article can be connected to the NXT robot using the Bluetooth wireless technology.
Android Applications Used to Control Mindstorms NXT Robots
Below you can find a list of applications that can be downloaded to control with an Android device Mindstorms NXT robots.
01. NXT Controller Plus
NXT Controller Plus is a free Android base application for smartphones and tablets that allows you to control the NXT robot using touch pad controller or the accelerometer sensor from the device. The application can be installed on Android OS devices and a graphic interface is used to display data from sensors.
RobotiX was designed to control the NXT robot using a remote button or the accelerometer sensor from Android device. It is a simple application that can be used by anyone to control the robot in any direction. Using the button to drive, the robot can be steered or drive at different speed which depending on the power level chosen by the user.
03. NXT REMOTE
NXT REMOTE is a simple and free Android application used to control Mindstorms NXT robots. The interface is simple and can be used four arrows to control the robot in any direction.
Just as the name suggests, BluetoothRobotControl application uses Bluetooth technology to control the robot. It is a free Android base application which uses the accelerometer sensor to control the robot. A Mindstorms NXT robot can be set in motion by tilting the device.
06. NXT Speech Control
NXT Speech Control is a free Android base application used to control the Mindstorms NXT robot over voice commands. The user can define up to four voice commands at the same time. The commands added could be something like “go away”, “go back”, or any other string of words. For each command may be attached the speed and distance.
LionNXT is a free application used to control the NXT robot through Bluetooth technology and three graphical layers. The Shooterbot Control layer is used to control the robot in 8 different directions and to fire ball using the center button. The Robogator Control panel is used to control the robot in six different directions and for playing sounds or to turn on the flashlight. The third panel is Command Monitor and is used to monitor the motor and sensor status.
MINDdroid is a free Android based application used to upload and run *.rcd, *.rso, *.ric, *.rxe files on NXT robots.
09. NXT Control
NXT Control is a free application used to control the basic functions of the NXT robot. The user has to tilt the Android device in order to move the robot in the desired direction.
iCount application is a simple interface between the NXT robot and the Android based device. Using Bluetooth connection, the robot can be directed in three ways: using the touchpad, via buttons, or just swinging the phone.
11. NXT Easy Button Remote Control
Using a simple interface provided by the NXT Easy Button Remote Control application, any user with an Android device can control the NXT robot.
12. NXT Control – Button
The NXT Control – Button is another very simple application with four buttons used to control the robot via Bluetooth technology.
13. NXT Control
NXT Control is a customizable app used to control the NXT robot.
14. NXT Remote Control Pro
NXT Remote Control Pro control robot direction and also can stop the robot if any obstacle is detected.
15. Mindstorms Control Car
Mindstorms Control Car is an Android based application with Bluetooth connectivity. Used for wheel based Lego robots, the application features include voice commands or commands using touch buttons.
NxtCamera is a video streaming Android based application used to capture images. Used with an Android smartphone attached to the NXT robot, any user can receive live streaming video on a PC or Laptop anywhere in the world. The robot is controlled using keyboard, joystick or Gamepad. Also the user can control the camera flash or can control the robot using text-to-speech commands.
17. Steering Wheel for LEGO NXT
Steering Wheel for LEGO NXT app control the robot using the accelerometer of the Android based device. The application required simple hand movements, just tilt the device and the robot receives commands.
Stream-O-Bot is a free based Android application designed to be used on two Android devices. One device is in control while the second device is attached to the robot. You can transform the NXT robot in a spy tool receiving video and audio data from the smartphone attached. Also the application can be used just for robot control, in this case is required only one Android device.
19. Lego NXT Follows Your Face
With Lego NXT Follows Your Face app you can use the NXT robot to follow your face. An Android based smartphone is attached to the robot with turned on a camera and the robot will follow the user.