Who is Uncle Bob?
A smart robot arm. By smart, we mean he can be controlled using an app on the latest smartphones and tablets.
Uncle Bob’s “brain” is an Arduino programmable board connected to 5 servos. The servos move different joints in the arm: one for the base to swing left/right, 3 along the arm, and one to open/close the claw. The Arduino’s serial port What’s Uncle Bob?
is connected to a Bluetooth module, so Uncle Bob can be controlled either by USB or Bluetooth.
The app is written natively for Android and iOS – as only truly native apps can give us the quality of experience (speed and latency) that is needed. It connects via Bluetooth to Uncle Bob and sends commands to move the arm.
And in future?
Smart apps have a lot of potential beyond what Uncle Bob demonstrates. We could:
- Add notifications to the app – for example to tell you when the arm has performed a certain action.
- Add in-app payments – so you can get the arm to vend something, say, on payment.
- Increased marketing for your business.
- Communication with customers can be increased.
Why did we make Uncle Bob?
We’re exhibiting at Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2018 and wanted to demonstrate how easily we can convert a device to a smart device. We’re not experts in robotics, or even electronics generally, and Uncle Bob is not particularly ground-breaking. What really is exciting, by contrast, is the app which directs it. We’re hoping that people can make the leap between their own much more accomplished devices, and the benefits of making them smart.
Why make a smart device?
We’re sure that similar technologies can be put to greater effect than picking sweets out of a box, and we’d love to be involved with all manufacturing businesses. Everything in today’s world is without a question, mobile. Everything is hugely influenced and enhanced by mobile technology. Have you got an idea that you want to apply to your business? Give us a call on 01256 274108, or come and visit us at SME18 at Stand L190! Come and see Uncle Bob in action!
What benefits would an App make to your business other than a smart device?
Having an App can help you with many different things across your business, you could have an app to help with the following:
- Timesheets – allowing employees to log in and log out.
- Work Orders – allowing employees to request repairs and fixes.
- Production line tracking
- Creating and managing workflow and tasks with ease.
Watch our video on Uncle Bob below!