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Stewart's Blog

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Raspberry Pi robot Android app

I created a web front end for my Raspberry Pi based robot, which works well on a desktop PC, but not quite the way I wanted on a mobile phone.

My idea was to have graphical buttons for the different directions and holding down the button will make it move in that direction and releasing it will stop the robot. Unfortunately it doesn’t work this way through a mobile phone browser. The reason it doesn’t work how I wanted to is because mobile phones treat a button held down on a web-browser in a similar way to a right mouse click on a desktop PC. As a result instead of moving the robot it would give a pop-up menu.

I did have a workaround by changing the behaviour to need a press to start and a press to stop, but it’s not quite what I wanted. I’ve been wanting to have a go at writing a mobile phone app for a while and it just so happens that it’s something I’ve been doing as part of my MSc, so I took this opportunity to create a basic app to control the robot.

Android app for controlling Raspberry Pi robot

This is the first app I’ve created that isn’t related to my academic studies and it’s fairly simple at the moment, but I think it’s great what can be produced fairly simply for Android without having to buy any commercial software to develop with.

It’s still in it’s early stages at the moment, for example there is no way to change the IP address of the robot without recompiling, but I am going to develop it further as time allows.

It’s too early to release on Google Play at the moment but if you’d like to have a go then you can download from github and then open it in Android Studio.

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