If flinging birds at pigs is starting to get a little repetitive, London web developer Tamlyn has lain the basic premise for your very own army of Android powered robot tanks. Using an existing RC powered tank, everything but the drive assembly and power supply was removed and replaced with an Android phone and an inexpensive IOIO (pronounced yo-yo) board to control the circuitry remotely -- yes, you drive this tank via the Internet.
Using any web browser, you can send steering commands to an Android phone running Tamlyn's home-brew application. The signals are then sent out via the phone's USB port, interpreted by the IOIO board circuitry, and power is applied to drive the tank in the direction you told it to go. He has the response time cut down to 30 milliseconds on Wifi, but feels that he may see issues with network latency when he tests on a 3G connection.
What I find most interesting, is Tamlyn's statement about how easy he found it to write Android apps. This just so happens to be his first Android application, and he has this to say:
This is my first Android project but thankfully the Android SDK and documentation are outstanding. With the help of a few tutorials I went from Hello World to a simple app that accepted HTTP connections in just a few hours.
That's a far cry from some of the horror stories we hear about Android being to hard to program for, and while this application is just a simple webserver, that fact that an Android programming novice found it so easy to make says a lot.
While I don't think anyone would be able to storm the gates of evil Castle Cupertino with these tanks, it sure looks like a fun way to play with the dog. Check the video after the break, and read the rest at the source link.
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