First sighting of ESC Boston 2016 "Hello There!" Robots -

First sighting of ESC Boston 2016 “Hello There!” Robots

Well, Hello There! (I'm sorry, I couldn’t help myself). In my previous column on this topic, I told you how you can Tweet your way into winning one of our uber-cool collectible edition wireless mesh networked “Hello There!” badges at the forthcoming ESC Boston, April 13-14, 2016 (see Here's how to get a FREE wireless mesh networked ESC “Hello There!” badge).

I also mentioned that, during the course of the conference, we will be giving away a number of badge-enabled “Hello There!” robots. Well, my chums at Synapse Wireless just sent me this video showing one of the little rascals racing rambunctiously around the room (one of the robots, not one of the folks at Synapse).

As you'll see, we've mounted one of the “Hello There!” badges on the robot. All of the badges come equipped with Arduino-footprint headers that allow them to interface with Arduino shields. In this case, we've plugged in a standard motor-control shield.

Once you've paired your personal badge with the one on the robot, you can control the beast by simply gesturing with you hand. If you tip your badge to the right, for example, the on-badge accelerometer will detect this motion and a right-pointing arrow will appear on its 8×8 LED matrix.

(Source: Synapse Wireless /

At the same time, the badge will communicate your desires wirelessly to the robot, which will respond by illuminating its own LED display and activating its motors. The image below shows the robot responding to a “Go Forward” gesture.

(Source: Synapse Wireless /

Pretty cool, Eh? Also cool will be our “Hello There!” Badge Meet-Up Session at 9:00am on Thursday April 14. This is where we will be discussing the badges in more detail, including tips and tricks for hacking and programming the badges, creating new applications and games for the badges, and sharing your creations with other badge-holders.

This session is open to everyone who has registered for ESC, including FREE Expo-only passes (this is a hint — I hope I'm not being too subtle). Furthermore, one lucky attendee to this Meet-Up will win both a badge and a robot that can be controlled using that badge. Hopefully I'll see you there (I'll be easy to spot — be the one sporting the mega-cool Hawaiian shirt while casually flaunting my very own “Hello There!” badge).

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