OK, this isn’t Cyberdyne Systems Corporation just yet but it’s still pretty cool. Earlier this month Wired wrote up Tim Heath and Ryan Hickman’s Android phone robot – Truckbot. At the time that Wired saw Truckbot it was made out of cardboard and it didn’t do much, but Heath and Hickman explained that they would exploit Android’s capabilities, “we don’t want to use the phone as a remote control. Rather, it becomes the brain of the operation.” A few weeks later and Truckbot has new acrylic body and a few more tricks up its sleeve.
By tapping into the Android phone’s capabilities, Truckbot can direct itself using the on-board compass and it can even be controlled using voice commands. This might seem pointless but the potential is huge. In the future phones will communicate with a variety of devices, not just controlling them but making them smarter. You might be able to connect your phone to your car, for example, and get it to park itself while you quickly walk off to buy a coffee. Watch the videos below to see the Truckbot in action.