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Each year, Wintriss Technical Schools, which teaches Java to kids starting in 5th grade, sponsors iARoC, the International Autonomous Robot Competition in San Diego. The objective of the event, which took place last weekend at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park, is to build an autonomous robot that can find its way through a set of fixed obstacles, locate an Infra-Red and visible home station beacon, and activate a mechanical push-action switch at the home station.
For the event, most kids use Roomba Create as a robot platform. In the past, they have also used the Sun SPOT controller and developed an interface board, so that the SPOT can communicate with the Create. This year, they modified the interface board so that it will also accommodate an Android phone via a IOIO. The robot also has three MaxBotics sonar sensors, a large prototyping area and four modular connectors to add additional sensors.
They created a complete API for the Android phone to talk to a Roomba Create via the IOIO and the interface board they designed. Pretty cool stuff from some budding robotics enthusiasts! Check out the video to see it in action.
As a reminder, SparkFun is hosting a special Android Development for IOIO class this Saturday, June 30, at our headquarters. Space is limited, so don't miss your chance to sign up and learn how to integrate your Android-based device into your next embedded electronics project. In addition to the usual crew of SFE teachers, Ytai Ben-Tsvi will be in attendance as a guest instructor (but don't worry -- if you can't make it, we'll be teaching the class again on July 1)!