Java App

The Cellbots app for Android was written in Java using the Android SDK, and can be found in the Market today as a free download. The easiest way to try out a Cellbot is to load this app on your Android 2.2 (Froyo) and up phone and then connect to any of the supported robot platforms such as a Roomba or LEGO MINDSTORMS that you may already own. Once connected you can drive the robot using the phone as a remote control or find clever ways to mount the phone directly on the robot to act as the brain. From there you can drive the robot remotely using a web browser on a desktop or mobile device or even run the Cellbots app on a 2nd Android phone for phone-to-phone communications.

The Cellbots Remote Control mode includes a directional pad (D-Pad), a joystick, use of the phone’s accelerometer, and voice controls. These commands get sent over Bluetooth to the robot so the range is limited to 25 feet or so. For unlimited range, mounting the phone to the robot will put it in Brain Mode. Once the phone is connected you’ll have the option of chatting with the robot using Google Talk where you can simply type text messages such as ‘move forward’, ‘stop’, or ‘picture’, and have it obey your command. This means you can talk with your robot from anywhere on the planet that you and the bot can get an internet connection.

Brain Mode also supports a web interface that you can access over the local wifi network to drive the robot with a mouse, touch screen, or keyboard commands. The phone on the robot will also use the camera to stream video to the browser so you can see through its eye from anywhere else on the local network. The Cellbots app will also utilize the phone’s other capabilities such as text-to-speech to talk, take still pictures, get the compass heading, or show a personality on the screen. Doing this allows for robots to be less expensive because your phone can provide all of these great capabilities instead of sitting unused in your pocket.

Try using the web app by starting a shared profile for your robot and use the Custom HTTP method with ‘Use local server’ checked. Then open your browser and type in the IP address you see in the app with /index.html at the end. In my house I’m using for example.

For users with two Android phones, you can run Cellbots on both of them for Remote Control to Brain Mode over the local network, through Google Talk, or using your own custom web server. This will provide the richest Remote Control UI that exposes an action shelf to quickly send commands to take picture, talk, change personality, or ask for the current compass reading. Try it between friends by sharing your robot profile with them using a QR code to scan right from the Cellbots app.

Android app developers can go ever further by using the source code to add new control UI’s, Brain Mode functions, and support for additional robot platforms. We also can’t wait to see web services connected for the age of Cloud Robotics to begin.

Scan this code with your Android phone's barcode scanner or click it if reading this on your phone

50 Responses to Java App

  1. Pingback: Googlers Give Cellbots a Major Upgrade |

  2. Pingback: Android stretches its legs… errr wheels… with help from 20% time at Google |

  3. Pingback: Three ways to power your robot with an Android phone - machine quotidienne

  4. Pingback: Googles 20% time brings robotic app to Android | sUAS News

  5. kriss says:

    How can I connect my phone to the Roomba?

  6. Pingback: LilBoonjis » Blog Archive » Three ways to power your robot with an Android phone

  7. Pingback: Cellbots Android app wants to be your robot’s brain [Video] - SlashGear

  8. Pingback: Cellbots app updated: video streaming, voice control, more [Video] | The Androider

  9. Pingback: Computer Hardware News » Cellbots Android app wants to be your robot’s brain [Video]

  10. Pingback: Cellbots Android App Allows You To Control A Variety Of Robot |

  11. Jason Law says:

    First of all, I am new to java programming and android.
    I have downloaded the java source code, when I open it in Eclipse, there are many errors and I have no clue how to fix it. Is there any guideline to open the source code in Eclipse? Or any other recommended IDE?

  12. java new app very usepul.pepole like to this apps and java other new apps relaese

  13. Lukasz says:

    Great job!
    I’ve tried to use my smartphone with Lego Mindstorms using your software.
    Unfortunately when I’m using “brain mode” with local http server everything is working fine except video streaming – I can’t see anything.. Should I install some additional software to use this feature?

  14. Wello says:

    Lukasz, how were you able to get the brain mode to work with an NXT robot? Can you please provide a basic tutorial? :)

  15. Jodi Houareau says:

    Awesome! Does this still support serial over audio?

  16. Pingback: Robot hackathon connects with Android, browsers and the cloud | Lucas Garvin

  17. dan barry says:

    I tried to set up according to the instruction:
    Try using the web app by starting a shared profile for your robot and use the Custom HTTP method with ‘Use local server’ checked

    but I cannot find where the checkbox is for ‘Use local server’

  18. Android is much cooler than iPhone. No one can dispute that! Iphone is way to closed up and Android has a much more innovative community. Just look at all the cool apps in the Android Market. The “1 Touch Love You” Android app shows how innovative Google is. It’s so simple that it’s hard to believe anyone at Apple could have not thought of it.

  19. Pingback: Robot hackathon connects with Android, browsers and the cloud - USEFUL PORTAL | USEFUL PORTAL

  20. Michael Schenck says:

    works great with MindStorm nxt 2 and Sony Google Internet tv box / remote as eyes / steering wheel. Also found online access is available if I forward relevant ports via wireless router… More fun to follow in my son’s school ~ at 8 yrs old he has been learning about robots for 3+ years!!!

  21. Great work! As soon as my Create arrives, I will try it out. Few quick questions (I hope you find the time to answer them):

    1. Does it look good on tablets?
    2. Can it run in the background (as a service)?
    3. Is there any ADK-support in the pipeline?

    Also, I am looking for a cheaper alternative for the the Element-Direct Bluetooth Adapter Module. Did anybody try a Bluetooth DB-9 module with a db-9 to db-25 adapter?

  22. Corey Adams says:

    I am building an omni-directional movement capable robot which will be controlled mostly using voice commands from my android and I need to know if it is possible to create voice commands for this robot in addition to the ones already in the app so that I can use the omni-directional capability of my robot to it’s full potential.

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  24. Gagan says:

    Can i use this app with robot based on atmega 16 microcontroller with bluetooth module ??

  25. Superb problems entirely, you merely attained some sort of emblem new visitor. Just what exactly do you advise concerning your create which you made a 7 days before? Any selected?

  26. Heather says:

    “Java App |” definitely got myself hooked with your blog!
    I actuallywill probably be back again considerably more frequently.
    Thank you ,Suzette

  27. Mohammad says:

    I’m not sure exactl why but this weblg is loading extremely slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  28. DaveJ says:

    Regarding the http interface, you do not want to create a new shared device – instead you want to Share an actual device. To do that, in the Android app press and hold the device you want to share and a menu comes up; click Share. Then the elusive “use local server” checkbox will be visible. The other thing that is odd is that the app assigns an IP address that appears arbitrary. Instead, use the actual IP address assigned to the phone by your router.

  29. artzub says:

    I try to compile your cellbots for androin on windows xp on android studio but have some errors:
    Android Pre Dex: [geronimo-jta_1.1_spec-1.1.1.jar] trouble processing “javax/transaction/HeuristicCommitException.class”:
    Please help me resolve it!

  30. ken says:

    Question related to DaveJ instructions …. ” To do that, in the Android app press and hold the device you want to share and a menu comes up; click Share” Can you be more specific? In the (Cellbots) app, there are only 3 text input blocks, Web Cellbots Name, Communication Method, and Web Cellbots URL. I tried holding each of these….

  31. ken says:

    Ok, got past the hold device (escape back to Cellbots menu, hold down on one of the connection schemes listed).

    New question… I put my cell phone’s local IP address as reported from the wireless router ( in the Cellbot’s URL text box and hit done. The program doesn’t seem to save this because when I run the shared cellbot (nxt. _shared), the base URL listed is the original (arbitrary) URL and after hitting connect, nothing happens (it doesn’t open up another screen). The Nxt seems to get connected though.

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