Control a motorized car with any phone.


Roaming allows people to call up a motorized car and drive it around using their cell phone or any phone. They can speak or press buttons into the reciever and the car will drive around accordingly.


Jonah Brucker-Cohen


The idea behind Roaming is that all physical objects should be able to be remotely controlled from any location. I was working on Musical/Devices and I realized that the next step should be to bring the phone interaction into the real world by attaching physical objects to the output.

A motorized car only scratches the surface of the possibilities one has with phone control over a network. One could use the phone to automate their house, feed their pets, or control other physical objects in remote locations without being tethered to a computer.


The system uses VoiceXML (a subset of XML) through TellMe and speech recognition to decipher user input in the form of voice or DTMF tones. Once the user connects, they are prompted to say directions (forward, reverse, stop, right, left) or push the appropriate DTMF tones for each movement. This input is collected, sent to a cgi script which relays the information back to a host computer which talks serially – via wireless serial modules – to the remote car. Suprisingly, there is little delay between messages sent.