I’ll admit it. I can be a little cheap. I also find it hard to pass up a bargain. So when I saw a robot kit at the local store that had been originally $125 marked down to $20, I had to bite. There was only one problem. After I got the thing home, I found they expected you to supply your own radio control transmitter and receiver.
Normally, that wouldn’t be a problem but lately… let’s just say a lot of my stuff is in storage and I didn’t have anything handy. I certainly didn’t want to go buy something that would double the cost of this robot that I really didn’t need to begin with.
However, I did have a few ESP8266 modules handy. Good ones, too, from Adafruit with selected 5 V I/O compatibility and an onboard regulator. I started thinking about writing something for the ESP8266 to pick up data from, say, a UDP packet and converting it into RC servo commands.
Seemed like a fair amount of work and then I remembered that I wanted to try Blynk. If you haven’t heard of Blynk, it is a user interface for Android and Apple phones that can send commands to an embedded system over the Internet. You usually think of using Blynk with an Arduino, but you can also program the embedded part directly on an ESP8266. I quickly threw together a little prototype joystick. Continue reading “The Joy Of The ESP8266 And Blynk”→
When several students from the University of Toronto became tired of having multiple remotes lying around, they decided to do something about it. Their solution to this problem came in the form of UIRemote, a universal remote application for the iPhone. The application allows the iPhone to control anything that is normally controlled by an infrared remote, thanks to the use of a custom infrared adapter that plugs into the phone’s headphone port. It’s a technique similar to our iPod remote control from 2004. While the UIRemote application and adapter are still in beta, the students expect to release both things simultaneously sometime within the next two months.
Google recently updated their Google Mobile App with a couple new features. Voice Search automatically starts listening when you raise the phone to your ear. Just say what you’re looking for, and it will poll Google and return the results. The app leverages Google’s voice recognition engine, which they’ve been training with Goog-411. [Andy Baio] has been experimenting with audio transcription and was curious what the new app was doing behind the scenes. He started by sniffing the packets as they traversed his network. Unfortunately, the size of the data packets transmitted is so small that he’s almost certain he’s missing something. He’d appreciate any help in this endeavor. Part of the problem might be Google getting special treatment and using undocumented iPhone SDK features.