Jan 27, 2009

Guest Blog - Andy H.

From Andy H:

Seeing as the iPod Touch was a very popular Christmas item I can't think of a roboteer who wouldn't look at it as something more than just casual gaming and music. Why not a robotics interface? If you've seen an iPod's dock connector (on the bottom of every iPod) and know that it can connect to peripherals like speakers. The dock connector actually unleashes some great capabilities. Did you know there's a serial output? This would allow SPI communication with any microchip capable of it. The iPod touch and iPhone are capable of running apps which could take advantage of serial data. Hook this up to a HiTechnic prototype board and bingo, you have communication with the NXT. There's bound to be an iPhone developer attempting this somewhere, maybe not with NXT, but some robotics platform, and with that the app could easily be ported for the NXT. Imagine the capabilities of an advanced platform like the iPod Touch (featuring light sensor, multi-touch, and accelerometer!) interfacing with the NXT. Neither would be a toy in this situation.

2 comments:

Pe-ads said...

Oooh, calling the NXT a toy...
Tch, tch, tch...
:-P I found it amusing in the light of the (fairly) recent discussion held here.
As for the iPod Touch to NXT, it sounds very cool. Didn't someone (I think it was the BattleBots chap), use the iPhone with NXT? That was for RC though, so it was a little different.

Pe-ads

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, there are no APIs for the iPod Touch / iPhone dock connector. I don't think you can even access them through a private framework on a jailbroken iPod/iPhone. Apple has lower level firmware control over dock that they don't expose to application software. It would be really nice if they added full bluetooth support to the devices -- the iPhone has a crippled bluetooth interface for headsets, and the 2nd generation Touch has some sort of proprietary variant of bluetooth used to interface with the Nike device. At some point in the future, they may make those more general purpose and developer accessible, and then the device would be perfect for NXT control. But right now you might be out of luck.

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