New Lego app lets Androids control robots

MindDroid lets users control their robotic minions via Bluetooth--if they have an Android handset.

You can scan the QR square in the image above to be taken directly to the app download site. Lego

File this one under "I wish we had this stuff when I was kid." Lego has just announced a new app for the Android Marketplace that lets people who create robots with the Mindstorm NXT platform control their creations using Android handsets--much like the BlackBerry robot controller app we reported on a while back ).

The free MindDroid app connects to the NXT device's "brain," the NXT module, via Bluetooth. Once the connection is established, the app uses the phone's accelerometer to control the up/down and left/right directional controls. There's an action button on the screen that can be used to trigger other motors, like opening or closing a claw or activating a small cannon.

It's a pretty awesome way to control your robotic minion--if you have an Android handset (2.1 or higher). Currently there's no iPhone version of MindDroid, but it'd be interesting to see what Lego could do with the iPhone 4's gyroscope feature. By the time the iPhone 5 comes out, we're sure whatever new features it has would let the robots violate causality, meaning they could travel through time.

Meaning the first Terminator might be made out of Legos.

Or maybe not.

About the author

    With more than 15 years experience testing hardware (and being obsessed with it), Crave freelance writer Matt Hickey can tell the good gadgets from the great. He also has a keen eye for future technology trends. Matt has blogged for publications including TechCrunch, CrunchGear, and most recently, Gizmodo. Matt is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CBS Interactive. E-mail Matt.


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