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Android-Controlled Battle Robots Go To War (Video)

Roblimo posted more than 2 years ago | from the using-your-tablet-as-an-instrument-of-destruction dept.

Android 41

Let's pretend for a moment that your name is Google. You want to have lots of developers working with your stuff. So you hold a Google Input|Output 2012 event. You have Sergey Brin showing off Google Glass, but most of your show consists of talks with titles like Integrate Web Intents into Your Web Application Today and What's New in Android?... which is all great fun, but also a tad boring. Luckily, somebody at Google piped up and said, "I know! We need Android-controlled fighting robots!" And they contacted the Stupid Fun Club, and Lo! There were Android-controlled robots fighting on the show floor, and all was right with the world.

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So? (0)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#40507281)

Am I supposed to be impressed or something? Android powered battle bots are hardly new, no impressive. Its not impressive (to me) when you run your software on say a 40mhz clocked processor ... and you have 39.5 milllion cycles each second spent idling. This is no different than a 'PC powered battle bot', its ridiculous over kill and requires very little effort, everything is already premade for you.

People regularly run their bots on AVR and PIC microcontrollers (AVRs are used in arduino), thats impressive. Using a super computer to do your childs 2nd grade homework is not.

Re:So? (2)

Intropy (2009018) | more than 2 years ago | (#40507461)

Am I supposed to be impressed or something?

No, you are supposed to be amused. Not your cup of tea? Fine. But you should see a doctor about the stick.

Re:So? (-1, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#40507501)

heh, talk about my stick? Whats that say about you? You bothered to respond to it. Is Jeff Dunham your daddy?

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40507737)

U r my hero & a force 2 b reckoned w/.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40507747)

Hey, Douche. Just Wanted To Say You're A Douche.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40508345)

He's not just a douche, he's an Apple employed douche. Check out his posting history.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40507633)

Am I supposed to be impressed or something?

I was kinda hoping for "dumbfounded", but not today I guess...

Re:So? (3, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#40509129)

Am I supposed to be impressed or something?

Interested, perhaps.

Android has some serious tools to help with robotics and autonomous vehicles, and being open source, it's nice to learn on, and free.

Android Open Accessory Development Kit (ADK) []

Arduino SDK board []

There's been a huge surge in robotics projects as a result.


Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40507353)


**********SHUT THE FUCK UP****************

Re:I FOR ONE (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 2 years ago | (#40507503)

OH NO! That crazy lady and her weirdo kid were right! Google is Skynet! We are all doomed!!

Good for the robot! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40507387)

With closed sourced robots, the adversary could capture the robot and torture it into revealing the 'source'. Using open source Android eliminates that danger.


uhuru_meditation (2573595) | more than 2 years ago | (#40507411)

I really like when something like that gets reported as an invention and makes a career for some nerd. LEGO made Android App Open Sourced and GPL'ed 3 already 2 years ago...that does just that and more.

Ah.... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#40507443)

I knew that there was an explanation for the increasingly unnerving convergence in style between Verizon's "Droid" advertisements and the USAF's "The Reaper is Watching" recruitment materials...

so uhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40507547)

For those of us unfortunate enough to be browsing from a mobile device, which of the 6 links is the video? C'mon now...

Re:so uhh (1)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 2 years ago | (#40507595)

None of them. The video is embedded in the page. The links are all to stuff that's related to the story.

Transcript (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#40508175)

Until Slashdot decides to embed video through HTML5 video tags, I guess you'd just have to enable Flash in your mobile browser.

Here's the transcript anyway.
Title: Android-Controlled Lego Battle Robots Go To war
Description: Google Input|Output 2012 has Android-controlled fighting Lego robots bringing havoc to the show floor! Slashdot takes you there!

00:00 TITLE
Timothy is shown standing in a hallway with the SlashdotTV logo bar reading "Timothy Lord meets Stupid Fun Club (and Lab)'s Michael Winter & His Android-Controlled Lego Robots"

00:00 Timothy
I talked with Michael Winter of Stupid Fun Labs, who's come up with some battlebot-style destructo devices that are remote-controlled from an Android tablet.

00:08 TITLE
Michael Winter is shown at a Google I/O Android floor with people operating robots in the background.

00:08 Michael
One month ago, Google gave us a call and said "We need something fun that's powered by Android".
I think it came from Andy, the guy who invented the Android iOS.. or.. sorry, not iOS *chuckles* it came from Andy that invented the Android operating system.
So we made combat robots that people can build themselves.
They use Legos to build up weapons and defense, then go into an arena or [...]

00:36 TITLE
Several shots of Android-powered Lego battle robots are shown along with tablets set up as controllers for them.

00:36 Michael
[...] or, here in this case, it's on the convention floor and they battle each other, trying to knock the driver off the other person's robot.

00:44 Michael
My background is in combat robots.
I won the first Robot Wars and I make things, I build electronics.
We use an ARM chip inside of the robot that has an emotion-based operating system, so the robots can get mad and do things and they can kill the driver like to hard.. drive better, or to shape up in general.

01;05 TITLE
The view fades back to the shot of Michael.

01:05 Michael
They also monitor how much damage they get.
If a robot continues to get hit, the damage level goes up, and the driver of the robot gets that information displayed on their Android tablet.
We know how many times the robot gets fired, we know what distance the other robots are away from it, and all this comes back to the driver or, if you're making a TV show out of this, the TV audience could see, like, how much damage a robot got.

01:32 TITLE
A time lapse shot is shown of somebody building a Lego battle robot as a piece of techno music is played over the video.

02:00 TITLE
A short shot taken from the perspective of one of the robots is shown before fading back to Michael.

02:01 Michael
The software runs on the Android tablet, uses Bluetooth to communicate with the robot.
To steer the robot you hold down the dead man's switch and you put the tablet forward to go forward, the tablet backwards to go backwards, left, right, and so steering is super-convenient, there's no joystick or anything like that.
And the weapon, you just push a button, and the weapon fires, or you can push the macro button and have the robot just go crazy, spinning all the way around, whacking everything in sight.

02:32 Timothy
What's your vision for this?

02:33 Michael
The vision is to do a reality TV show.
While we were building it, one of the big three networks actually came up to us, and was talking about this prime time show, and we said, well, here's kind of the technology that we can use to do things in real time.
So that's one thing, we're very interested in the toy market.
We do talk with Lego R&D and Hasbro and Mattel.
Some wild ideas have been thrown out here at the convention, one is that.. wouldn't it be fun to do Lego, rather than a Lego Mindstorms, a Lego Google.. where you would buy your Lego robotics set, and it would just connect with your phone so you can use the power of your phone or your tablet to control your Legos.

03:14 TITLE
A title fades in and out reading "Tim: What ages would use this?"

03:18 Timothy
What ages have responded the most to this?

03:23 Michael
The ages using this would be probably the exact same age pretty much of using a Lego or a phone.
So if you have a 4-year old that uses a phone or tablet and builds Legos.. goes down to 4...
One of the other things that motivated us in making these is when we were doing combat robots, people would come up and say "Ooh! You should make a double spinner on your robot!", or "You should use an axe!" or "You should make a robot jump through the air!", but those people.. they didn't have machine shops, or the skills, or the time to actually do it.
So what we try to do is to have them use just Legos to make the weapon and offense and defense of their dreams.
So we've been having people here, sitting all day working way furiously with Legos - but with an intention, they have to, because they have to make their driver save from the wacky weapons of the robots, and they also have to make their weapon as evil as possible.

04:16 TITLE
A title fades in and out reading "Tim: How hard do they hit?"

04:18 Timothy
Those things seem to hit with some pretty good force.
How hard are they hittin'?

04:22 Michael
Well if we leave the robots on full force, it will knock a Lego into drywall.
It just smashes the hell out of 'm.
They're going, like, several hundred miles an hour.
The Legos never break - but they do break apart and they make this giant exploding noise when you go rip.. into a big pile of Legos.

04:38 TITLE
A title fades in and out reading "Tim: What's this enclosure made of?", referring to the enclosure of a battle arena.

04:40 Timothy
You talked a little bit before about this enclosure.
Tell us a little bit about... what's this enclosure made of, here?

04:46 TITLE
The view pans around to an arena with a bunch of Lego bricks scattered around.

04:46 Michael
The enclosure is made of polycarbonate - it's a quarter inch thick.
That's what they use for jet fighter canopies, that's what it was invented for, and also if you go to a bank or other secure place, there will be polycarbonate there because it's very good at stopping bullets.

05:00 TITLE
A series of slow-motion shots of Android-controlled Lego battle robots destroying Lego buildings, trees, etc. is shown while "Theme from A Summer Place" is played over the video.

05:32 TITLE
The SlashdotTV logo bar fades in reading "This has been a Slashdot video / Thank you for watching" with below it a credit line reading "Musical robot destructo scenes supplied by Super Fun Club."

Robots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40507611)

Do not have remote controls.
Not a robot.

wow - so boring!!!! (1)

ushere (1015833) | more than 2 years ago | (#40507683)

if i want talking heads i'll go to ted. some guy rabbiting on - on screen - about robot battles is about as exciting as watching paint peel.

Link anyone? (1)

TrueSpeed (576528) | more than 2 years ago | (#40507739)

So where do I download this Android iOS?

Finally Google beats Apple at something (2)

dohzer (867770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40507773)

I've been waiting for Google to give the average person something useful that Apple doesn't.

Re:Finally Google beats Apple at something (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#40508377)

Swype keyboard. I can't imagine using a touch keyboard without that functionality. There's the usual replacable battery, expandable storage, USB hosting, standard connectors, etc as well.

Too much talk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40508035)

Not enough robocarnage.

Re:Too much talk (1)

issicus (2031176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40508269)

exactly my thought. I think we all know how remote controls work.

time to join the Resistance? (3, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40508355)

Android-Controlled Battle Robots Go To War

I'm too lazy to go read the article, but will somebody please tell me that this story is about a play battle with a bunch of nerds with raspberry pi-on-wheels RC cars and is NOT about the Rise of the Machines?

I'm not going to touch my smartphone until I get the All Clear. I've got tongs and gloves and I will put this thing in the microwave if there's any danger . But for all I know, the microwave is in on it, too. You know, I could swear that the phone's been vibrating in a much more violent way lately. Thing goes off on the table next to my bed and it sounds like somebody's using a chain saw to cut through the floor. "Haptic feedback", my ass. This thing is trying to get up and walk!

I've been wondering how long before the Cloud becomes sentient. But then, I've also been wondering if I could juice a frozen pizza, so that doesn't really mean very much. I do more than my fair share of wondering.

Oh hell, it's going in the Microwave. Nobody's responded to this post yet, so maybe they've shot off an EMP blast or something and it's like Fallout 3 outside. If not, I'm going to go ahead and give this bitch 2 minutes on "defrost" just as a warning. To show it who's boss.

Re:time to join the Resistance? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#40508427)

Man, I don't know what's wrong with you but just reading that made my head hurt.

Re:time to join the Resistance? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40508577)

just reading that made my head hurt.

With practice, you may find that reading becomes less painful if you don't move your lips.

I've heard Hooked on Phonics is good for that.

Re:time to join the Resistance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40509053)

just reading that made my head hurt.

With practice, you may find that reading becomes less painful if you don't move your lips.

I've heard Hooked on Phonics is good for that.

Is that a catch and release program?

Re:time to join the Resistance? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 2 years ago | (#40511395)

Heh, I don't really mind reading so much. It's when there are many words that connect to make no sense. My mind keeps trying to produce order from chaos causing pain after many readings culminate in failure.

Re:time to join the Resistance? (1)

youme (2674295) | more than 2 years ago | (#40509139)

I also wonder, and I also wander

(plus one Info8matiVe) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40508455)

Lay dowN paper

BlackBerry did it first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40508639)

I think it was about 2 years ago, at one of RIM's developer conference. They had Lego Mindstorm builds that used Bluetooth and were controlled by the Storm2 device (yeah, I know) but they had it working with an obstacle course instead of battling each other. Not exactly the same I realize, but this is hardly a new concept for a mobile device.

I fail to see the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40508721)

What's the point?

If you're not going to put friggin' laser beams on their heads, then who gives a flip what OS they're running?

Re:I fail to see the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40509961)

What's the point?

If you're not going to put friggin' laser beams on their heads, then who gives a flip what OS they're running?

High Harmonic Generation X ray lasers for the win, and a nice OS for the show.

YAY! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40508833)

Its about damn time! I've been waiting very patiently for Android controlled battle bots made from lego. I was telling the wife and kids just the other day that Android would gain higher market share if they would quit being lazy and create some Android controlled battle bots made from Lego. Finally! Full props to the guy from Google who had the nads to volunteer the suggestion, and likewise get assistance external to the Google: the Stupid Fun Club(tm). Just so long as the government doesn't find out, all is good. If the government finds out, they will subpoena Google and ask probing questions about their new destructive drywall damaging technologies.

Go to War? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40509349)

What can of War are we talkng about here? The War on Drugs? The War on Terror? Maybe it's time for a War on Hyperbole.

My surge brain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40509369)

So I read the post (not the article, I am new here) and I see surge brain robot battle,
this initiates some primordial spark of conflict deep within my conscious.

I get all excited for all of 3 seconds it takes me to realize this is just another article about remote controlled electronic device.
then I get really hungry...

Distastefull (1)

ironman_one (520863) | about 2 years ago | (#40509727)

Am I the only one here to get a bad taste from this. Take a loved childtoy and a open operaring system and develp a weapon? This is somthing I expected from the bully in ToyStory. Why not develop a electric chair from lego controlled by android when you already have started?

Re:Distastefull (1)

jsh1972 (1095519) | about 2 years ago | (#40511431)

Hmmmmm... electric Lego chair! Great idea, you can make a hole in the seat so hole in the bottom of the chair for easy clean up, any bricks melted in the process are Easily replaced. You, sir, are a genius! Well, off to the patent office... first to file, and all that... thanks! I'll even give you credit (just no royalties). I'll call it the iron electric iron dead man one extreme!

MechWarfare already does this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40511791)

We fielded android walking Mech Warrior at Robogames this year, next year we are trying to go fully autonomous using the android phone for full control.

Nope. (1)

jon3k (691256) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513751)

Saw commercial, closed tab.

Oblig (1)

Jimbob The Mighty (1282418) | more than 2 years ago | (#40514201)

Yo Dawg, I heard you like androids, so I put an Android in your android...
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