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Robotics Wireless Networking Hardware

Linux-based Bluetooth Robot 104

foobar2k writes "Sony Ericsson is showcasing their Rob-1 bluetooth controlled robot, which interestingly is running Linux. You can control the robot using your bluetooth enable mobile phone!" It's sort of a phone-controlled camera drone. From the product page: "This limited-edition Bluetooth(TM) camera on wheels really has an eye for things! Use your phone or PC to steer it. Bright lights at the front of ROB-1 lead the way."
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Linux-based Bluetooth Robot

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  • by Zone-MR ( 631588 ) * <> on Friday March 18, 2005 @08:50PM (#11981324) Homepage
    I saw this demonstrated last weekend, on my trip to CeBIT [].

    Here's a close up picture I took [].

    My impressions of it were that it seemed very big - would have been a lot more impressive had they miniaturised it a bit.
  • by FalconZero ( 607567 ) * <FalconZero.Gmail@com> on Friday March 18, 2005 @08:52PM (#11981346)
    ...who reads this and thinks 'CRUNCH'
    • I'd like to see this thing get across shag..
  • by EtherAlchemist ( 789180 ) on Friday March 18, 2005 @08:53PM (#11981351)

    Too bad there's not a mod point for porn potential, the shot of their demo panning up and down on the woman gave me the idea that this would be perfect for all manner of perversions. It's like an X10 on wheels.
    • "Too bad there's not a mod point for porn potential, the shot of their demo panning up and down on the woman gave me the idea that this would be perfect for all manner of perversions. It's like an X10 on wheels."

      Well, since it's using short-range Bluetooth, it's like an X10 on wheels using a 3-foot power cord.
  • Otherwise, i don't care what it run...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 18, 2005 @08:55PM (#11981367)
    What other purpose can this thing have?
  • LADIES: (Score:2, Funny)

    by Gropo ( 445879 )
    You might want to think about wearing more pants this summer...
    • You might want to think about wearing more pants this summer...

      I think you meant to say: "Pants are optional, but recommended for you."

  • by spaeschke ( 774948 ) on Friday March 18, 2005 @08:57PM (#11981373)
    "I'm Sam Waterston, of the popular TV series "Law & Order". As a senior citizen, you're probably aware of the threat robots pose. Robots are everywhere, and they eat old people's medicine for fuel.

    Well, now there's a company that offers coverage against the unfortunate event of robot attack, with Old Glory Insurance. Old Glory will cover you with no health check-up or age consideration. You need to feel safe. And that's harder and harder to do nowadays, because robots may strike at any time. And when they grab you with those metal claws, you can't break free.. because they're made of metal, and robots are strong.

    Now, for only $4 a month, you can achieve peace of mind in a world full of crime and robots, with Old Glory Insurance. So, don't cower under your afghan any longer. Make a choice.

    Old Glory Insurance. For when the metal ones decide to come for you - and they will."

  • Bluewhat? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Phoinix ( 666047 ) on Friday March 18, 2005 @08:57PM (#11981381)
    Does that mean that Linux now supports Bluetooth?
    O, wait, they did not say Debian
    • linux has supported bluetooth quite well for quite some time now, so asking such a question just shows that you haven't been following. and had you ever cared a simple googling would have told you so. [].
      • I am aware that the testing releases have some type of support for bluetooth. I am using D-Link Bluetooth DBT-120 [] on my WIndows to Sync to my Palm for the last ~2 years. It was not easy to make it work on the Debian side. Although I consider it the fault of D-Link for not providing "open specs" or a Linux driver for their product, as a user, and at the time I bought it, it did not work. I have been having trouble finding which hardware is expected to work seamlessly with Linux.
  • by ClosedSource ( 238333 ) on Friday March 18, 2005 @08:59PM (#11981390)
    I thought typing contact names on the keypad was hard, but typing long path names is going to be murder.
  • Uses for Bluetooth (Score:5, Insightful)

    by caryw ( 131578 ) <carywiedemann@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Friday March 18, 2005 @09:00PM (#11981394) Homepage
    I'm glad SonyEricsson is continuting to unveil new uses for bluetooth. Bluetooth is one of the most under-utilized standards on the market. Every digital camera should have bluetooth to allow you to easily send pictures instantly from any Camera/Bluetooth cellphone combo.
    If anyone has a SonyEricsson T610 - T617 you can use it to control Winamp, Powerpoint, and all sorts of other things remotely by using the wonderful floAt's Mobile Agent [].
    Bluetooth has great potential and tons of new cell phones are now bluetooth enabled. Someone other than SonyEricsson please start innovating!
    - Cary
    Fairfax County Ticket and Arrest Search []
    • I can control pretty much everything on my iBook with my bluetooth P900 and Salling Clicker.

      Wireless really is wonderful - I lay on my bed controlling the music on my iBook with my phone, the sound coming from my speakers connected wirelessly via Airport express.
    • The combination of "stacks of features and uses" combined with "under-utilization" makes bluetooth look a solution looking for a problem.
    • Every digital camera should have bluetooth to allow you to easily send pictures instantly from any Camera/Bluetooth cellphone combo.

      Better be Bluetooth 2.0. Using the current standard you'll be waiting minutes for a simple five megapixel image to be moved between your camera and another. Bluetooth is nice - as long as you don't want to move tons of data quickly.
    • Love FMA... I run FMA on my laptop, and leave the laptop in my bookbag, then I setup winamp to output to my bluetooth headset(I want the new HP headset, higher audio quality with the new audio profiles) and use my phone to control the music...

      It's also nice for incoming call notification and using SMS to chat with a friend - using a full keyboard.

      I only wish that I knew of a program like FMA on linux - anyone have a suggestion on that?

      • He wrote it in Delphi, and the source is available. Have you considered porting it? (I don't know if there's a Delphi compiler for Linux, that's for you to find.) Otherwise, my other suggestion would be to try to run it under WINE. I don't know if it could deal with bluez or not, but that's a possibility too.

        One of the problems with porting it is: it's damn pretty under Windows. He did a great job designing the GUI. But will it port?

        • I have considered examining the source for the protocols used and re-writing it in Python... I'm no delphi user by any measure, but most code is easy enough to figure out, esp serial protocols like that.

          Now just to find the time to code it.
      • Well, a simple bash script can be used to auto lock/unlock your screen based on presence.

        For text messaging you'd be wanting this:

        I'm pretty damn sure that I've seen a perl module for communicating with the TXXX series of phones in the same way FMA does, so all that is needed is a quick hack there.
    • You must be American. Here in Europe everyone (well okay many many people) use Bluetooth. It seems to me that in any queue of cars waiting for traffic lights drivers have bluetooth headsets on.

      I for one use bluetooth to sync my phone to my Mac, sync my PDA to my phone, control my Mac from my phone, use my phone as a wireless modem for my PDA or my laptop, use my Mac as a 'wireless router' for my PDA i.e. provide it with a net connection...

      Bluetooth is great.
  • If so, I don't know how they plan on fitting those CDs in this thing every 6 months.
  • Now all the teenage girls/guys can get this robot to drive their car.

    Since they are on the phone anyhow, they can just talk and control the car driving blue tooth robot at the same time!

    If they can just give this robot the brain power of a cockroach, I'll feel safer on the road!
    • Better option - look up the Sony Ericsson CAR-100, it's the same idea, a hotweels sized rc car controlled via bluetooth using your phone.

      just re-wire the electronics into the cars computer control system and viola!

  • I, for one, welcome our new Linux-based bluetooth-controlled robot overlords!
  • by murderlegendre ( 776042 ) on Friday March 18, 2005 @09:05PM (#11981417)

    Sorry, but like an extermination-bent Dalek, I can neither get too excited nor too fearful of anything that can't climb the freakin' stairs.

    Wake me up when it hovers.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 18, 2005 @09:05PM (#11981421)
    ...or does this encourage a whole new level of slacking off at work.

    So now ROB-1 can patrol the corridor and look out for your boss while you're in your room trying to break your Tetris high score.

    I'm sorry, but this has no useful functions except as an upskirt cam(lets hope not), hallway monitor, or geek-chic-it-runs-linux-and-rolls-on-wheels status symbol.

    Wait a sec...
    Nevermind, forget everything I just said, this fits the Slashdot demographic just fine.
    • Insightful eh?

      From the abstract: "Sony Ericsson is"

      It's not meant to be a friggin product, it is Sony Ericsson bragging what their engineers are cabable of creating. Expect most of these things ending up as presents to executives of SE partners.

      And if a Bluethooth-controlled Linux-powered robot isn't news for nerds, I'd like to know what is...
      • it is Sony Ericsson bragging what their engineers are cabable of creating

        Any student/person with a simple knowledge of robotics and microstamps can do this, albeit it'll be harder to get it to work off a phone. Just pointing out that this isn't all that amazing ;)

  • No. Er. Has anyone?

  • Army (Score:3, Funny)

    by kihjin ( 866070 ) on Friday March 18, 2005 @09:26PM (#11981530)
    Imagine a beowulf cluster of these...

    Look out Redmond!
  • Please note that the article doesn't say that these things obey Isaac Asimov's three laws of robotics []. Probably it does not.

    These beasts could be dangerous: As other comments have already pointed out they will most likely wander about and do upskirt photos.

    Oh, wait... Shooting upskirt photos isn't forbidden under Asimov's laws, it it?

  • ROB 1? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EdwinBoyd ( 810701 ) on Friday March 18, 2005 @09:35PM (#11981569)
    Wasn't ROB 1 the name of the short lived NES robot peripheral? Damn Sony, first you muscle in on the handheld gaming market and now this?? Have you no shame?
  • by MsGeek ( 162936 ) on Friday March 18, 2005 @09:37PM (#11981580) Homepage Journal
    This is yet another root to Ping-chan's family tree. []

    And yes, I want one.
  • by themusicgod1 ( 241799 ) <[themusicgod1] [at] []> on Friday March 18, 2005 @09:56PM (#11981682) Homepage Journal
    How come I can't get the fucking cheese out of this grater? The holes have been made too tiny and the cheese is too moist. It's like this cheesy mush that threads together in the center of the grating wheel (it's one of those circular graters with the arm you spin... That's how it's getting stuck... You know, in the middle part.) I tried pushing it out with my index finger and caught myself on one of the edges... Normally this wouldn't be so bad, but I tried with a knife just before and actually caused the metal to tear creating a sharp edge (unknown to me just before sticking my finger in there.) So I have my finger in this circular cheese grater and it's started to bleed... There's a little pool of blood forming right in the pocket of moist yellow cheese from where my finger compressed it. For some reason it still wouldn't come out, and now I was bleeding all over it. It was not a good situation. I abandon the knife and the finger ideas (the knife being too pointy and my finger being too soft and rippable) and attempt a spoon. Holy fuck, it worked! So the cheese comes out in this strand-ey (due to the various strands being ripped asunder and re-united by the finger pushing) sort of bloody cylinder with a big dip on the top. I realize I've been biting my lip this whole time and I had this really intense look on my face. I shout a victory scream, and realize my girlfriend has been watching me this entire time. Anyhow, I smiled at her and she shook her head and left the room... I figured it was for the best as the worst was yet to come. I took the cheese grater and threw it out of the kitchen in disgust... This is about the time when I decided this entire process would be made a lot easier with the aid of robots. No, it was time to begin from scratch, no grater was required. I'd build this fucker. Right then and there I decided to try and build a mechanical cheese grater. I pulled out my robotics books from the cookbook cupboard (don't ask) and got my trusty parts box and tool kit. I began with a pretty simple little motor and got a converter to plug it into the wall. It's at this point that I had to head into the other room to get the grater I had originally disgarded. Anyhow, I get the grater and (through the magic of solder and a bit of duct tape) managed to attach the thing to the motor. I took my screwdriver and forced the holes to be a bit bigger (which would hopefully solve the problem of the bloody cheese cylinder.) I decided there needed to be some way to keep the pressure on the cheese so that it would be forced into tiny little holes (and RIPPED TO PIECES, FUCK YES. DIE YOU FUCKING CHEESE!!1!) Anyhow, to solve this problem I rigged up a bit of a spring and pulley system (attached to a second motor) onto the original lever and let 'er fly. There was a lot of noise, and I think I've blocked the rest out of my memory (probably for the best, therapy can be expensive, but you don't need therapy for what you can't remember, ah-hah!) The next thing I know, I'm laying on the floor and there is cheese -EVERYWHERE- my girlfriend is picking me up and I have glass all over myself. Stupid bowl got caught by the motorized grater and shards of glass came out where the cheese was supposed to. I was lucky, I lived, but let this be a lesson to all of you. Do -NOT- mess with motorized cheese graters. Or, if that's a bit too specific for you (and trust me, it does cover a wide range of dangers) don't tamper with cheese related products, it's for the best if you just back down. There is no way to stress this enough. Plain cheese graters may cramp up your hand and strain your arm, they may even not work, but you CAN NOT REPLACE THEM WITH ROBOTS!
    • Seems like this robot will have to see the BlooTooh Dentist and get a blue-job right in the grater or the teeth.

      I guess when the bloo-tooth mouth appliance is embedded, some nerdy engineers will stay at work frisking the prototype.

      Wife/Boyfriend: You're spending a lot of hours at work lately...

      Nerd: YEH! They brought in a BlooTooth robot. Once I saw it and checked it out, it bloo me away.


      Aside from that, imagine the cheese-funk or the stench coming from that robot's mouth? If there is a co
  • These totally remind me of casters on my chair.
    As such I would like to put 5 of these (running in syncro)on my office chair. Then i could grab a coffee or go to the can with out getting up from my chair.

    Or perhaps even better, install one or two of these units on an unwitting co-workers chair and let the fun begin...
    • something tells me the torque available to those little things would not be equal to the you might have to re-engineer them a bit. You might also want to extend the range on the bluetooth transceiver - otherwise your coworker might catch on to you fairly quickly.
  • "Linux based bluetooth robot"

    Did you hear that?

    It was the sound of 1,000,000 Slashdot readers having an orgasm simultaneously.
  • For some reason, this reminds me of that little remote-controlled spy cockroach in the Fifth Element. If only we could have a huge slew of these little robots... we could have a fleet that could take over the world! Except mountains. Reception sucks up there.
  • Now, with the army of killer robots upon us, the only thing that can save us is: The Bluetooth Rifle! []
  • I don't see anywhere that it says it runs linux. But assuming it does, what cpu is hiding in there? I'm assuming some sort of MIPS since that's what Sony seems to like for consumer devices. But what else? Can I ssh into it? Memory? I need specs people!
  • Discovers the undocumented "Release Poison Gas" Command.
  • what more needs to be said?

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson