Tablet-controlled disco Droid


We have seen a few neat Google ADK projects pop up since its announcement a few weeks back, and this one is already on the list of our favorites.

YouTube user [chrisjrelliot] has put together a great hack demonstrating the ADK’s power and how easy it can be to control devices in real time with an Android-powered device.

He hacked apart an Android figure (naturally) and fitted it with some LED eyes as well as four servos. The servos are used to rotate the head, body, and arms of his Disco Droid, all of which can be controlled via his Android-powered tablet. As you can see in the video below, he is able to control the Droid’s actions in real time with a few simple swipes of his finger. One thing we did notice is that his tablet is not connected to anything via wires, so we are assuming that there’s a Bluetooth module hidden away somewhere in the mix.

While the video is a bit short on details, [Chris] promises that source code and build plans will be published in short order.


  1. Nomad says:

    Not available in my country -.-
    Could someone upload it somewhere else? Like Viddler or something?

  2. MrX says:

    Only one droid?? I was expecting them all to start dancing at some point : P

  3. Tech B. says:

    That’s what I thought…. Guess we can blame it on the ADD.

  4. cptfalcon says:

    I saw this at Maker Faire at the google booth. There are a few clips of it online:

    They had some bigger ones roving around:

    Also a pretty cool zoetrope (not servo controlled):

    The idea seems to have some older roots:

  5. Andy says:

    Same as you two, I wanted them all to join in :(

  6. Kuy says:

    It’s clear from the video that the tablet is connected to the ADK hardware via a USB cable (runs from the bottom of the tablet down, back and up onto the right side of the shelf), so there’s almost certainly no bluetooth in this one.

  7. Max says:

    Very entertaining, now hook it up to a Kinect.

  8. X0rd says:

    Very cool…just curious..anyone know the name of that sound track?

  9. MaX says:

    @Max That mentality is starting to piss the hacker community. While the kinect is a useful device, lets not start using it where it is not necessary.


  10. Andy says:

    If you go onto youtube to watch it. it says:
    Artist: AWOLNATION
    Buy “Sail” on: iTunes
    Therefore, it is Sail by AWOLNATION

  11. Max says:

    Personally, I don’t respect anyone who puts a Kinect in their project now. It’s too mainstream to be considered real hacking by anyone who was hacking back when it was a social stigma.

    As far as controlling a dancing robot goes, sliding individual toggles does look far more fun and intuitive than mimicking movement through motion capture.

    Also, my name is now Magnus, in homage to the Germanic poet you’ve never heard of.

  12. jrishel says:

    I asked for cookie robots!

  13. X0rd says:


    Thanks….and sarcastic much? lol

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