Forknife, Android G1 controlled robot


When we first saw [Jeffrey Nelson]‘s G1 based robot we immediately wondered what the transport for the controls was. The G1‘s hardware supports USB On-The-Go, but it’s not implemented in Android yet. It turns out he’s actually sending commands by using DTMF tones through the headphone adapter. The audio jack is connected to a DTMF decoder that sends signals to the bot’s Arduino. He wrote client/server code in Java to issue commands to the robot. You can find that code plus a simple schematic on his site. A video of the bot is embedded below.

[via Engadget]


  1. Hah, good ol DTMF. I used to get free payphone calls with the coin tones on my ipod.

  2. charlie says:

    omg! i love it. crummy looking robots made of silly stuff are cuter than puppies! good work man.

  3. supershwa says:

    wow taylor you must be living in 1980 or somewhere other than the states – haven’t been able to play dtmf tones into a phone for free calls in a long time…I would have guessed the ipod was invented after dtmf tone playback stopped working.

    nice hack – cool that jeff’s made such a simple toy with not much more than an arduino, his phone and his plasticware. :P

  4. Joel Johnson says:

    Kinda reminds me of the Wimobot, the robots running Windows Mobile.

  5. andrew says:

    supershwa: yea, i tried it once– didn’t work. then read up on it and found that the technique had been dead for a long time.

  6. gOOg says:

    Now I knew why Matt Cutts adores it. Nice :)

  7. sly says:

    occasionally in some rural areas you can still find some of the _old_ pay phones in use. they are getting way further and way fewer between though. As the rural telcos update their networks, the old phones will no longer work and will need to be replaced.

  8. SashaTheHippo says:

    This guy’s head is a toilet float. His body may or may not be mostly Jenga blocks. Overall, a fun little project.

  9. abula says:

    nice post, thx.

  10. dollemetan says:

    cool man!!!nice

  11. dam says:

    OK man you can now send it on moon :-)
    The NASA director


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