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Intel Researchers Design Smartphone-Powered Robot That Costs $50 to Assemble

By Venture Beat

September 4, 2020

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Intel researchers have created a wheeled robot powered by a smartphone that costs just $50 to assemble.

The OpenBot's chassis can be created using a three-dimensional (3D) printer and can handle up to four motors, as well as a controller, microcontroller, LEDs, a smartphone mount, and a USB cable.

Sensors on the two front wheels can send odometry signals, and real-time speed and direction adjustments can be made via pins connected to the motor controller.

The operator can collect data via an Android app running on the smartphone, while an Arduino Nano board paired with the smartphone via USB handles low-level actuation and measurements of speed, distance, and battery voltage.

Off-the-shelf Bluetooth-compatible PS4, Xbox, and Switch game controllers can be used to control the OpenBot.

Said the researchers, "This work aims to address two key challenges in robotics: accessibility and scalability.”

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