DIY smartphone robot using simple electronics (no arduino / micro controller)

Hello everyone!

I am Michael and my passion is playing with simple electronics and mostly paper circuits. I'm posting here because I've invented a simple hack that turns a smartphone into a programmable DIY robot using just two transistors and two light sensors, no arduino or microcontroller required. The light sensors detect the brightness in one of the lower corners of the screen. These light sensors then turn the motors on and off by switching a transistor.
This makes the building process much easier and cheaper than any other concept I know of. So this idea is especially useful for anyone who wants to teach robotics on a budget. Once the robot is finished, you can use MIT App Inventor to program your robot in any way you want (e.g. voice commands, text-to-speech, Bluetooth remote control, etc).
You can see my work here (all materials free to download and CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0): Simple DIY Robotics Platform for Kids (Using MIT App Inventor) — Volt, Paper, Scissors!

I am also posting this because I am offering an online course for teachers where I will share all my knowledge + we will be building a newer and improved version of the robot that is not currently available online. If you are interested (it is a paid workshop) then you can read about it here: DIY Robotics for Teachers — Volt, Paper, Scissors!

I hope you find my work useful and if you have any questions I am happy to answer them.

Here is a picture of what the robot looks like:

1 Like

maybe you can control using some device connecting a bluetooh or wifi device for comunication in specific with many others robot with the same material. its possible make that?

Nice idea, but it is possible to use only the bt module and 2 leds or connect module bt directly to motors instead of a telephone.
See this topic:

Not sure if I understand your question right. You can definitely connect two phones via Bluetooth and use on as the remote control for the other. Using the tinyWebDB component could work to make many robots communicate with each other.

Thats also very interesting!
I like to use a smartphone as the robots brain (and a second as a remote control) because that gives the robot so many more possiblities like having an animated face, a voice, sensing its surrounding etc.