(The project below is more tuned for End-Users who do not know much about electronics, but, it is also not for the faint hearted.) Enjoy (:

Difficulty level for new those completely new (10/10)

Difficulty level for LEGO and/or Computer enthusiasts (may vary depending on LEGO/Computer knowledge prior to this)

Cost level (will vary depending on items you currently have, if you have none total cost will at least be a thousand dollars. Requirements stated in project description)

Fun level Extreme ! 10/10 !

The Project

Click image to enlarge


Part 1,

Now here’s a cool project for LEGO, windows computer, windows mobile/symbian 60 phone enthusiasts, LEGO NXT SPY BOT.  A robot which you can remotely control, talk live audio through it and feed live video/audio back to you.  In summary, it’s a “moving remote controlled computer” (note functions available are subjected to phone)(Live video[1] can come in many forms and is subjected to computer, phone, wifi connection speeds, and/or 3G settings***).


The Bare minimum you will need is a NXT BRAIN, 2 motors, a phone with wifi and responsive camera, and a computer with bluetooth and Wifi.

The Recommended level for the best results, NXT BRAIN, 2 motors, a windows mobile/ symbian phone with wifi and responsive 5 Megapixel camera, a laptop with bluetooth and Wifi, a Wifi router, and an extra phone to call the phone on board.  A laptop is recommended for portability, 2nd phone is recommended for better range and clarity for live audio to/from robot, Wifi router for increased range.  Just imagine yourself playing outside ! (:

(Note It is also possible to remotely control NXT and Apple I.Phones with Apple Computers, however i own neither one and do not offer Know-How for it).

Whatever motors you use is fine so long as the BRAIN can successfully control them.  Now why do I need a phone with Wifi?  You can only remote control the NXT BRAIN through bluetooth, since Bluetooth is taken up, what’s left on common laptops is Wifi, and Wifi’s range and transfer rate is high which makes it great for transferring live video feeds.

I use a HTC Touch Diamond 2 with Windows Mobile 6.1 platform for this creation, the main feature of using windows mobile is you can fully remote control the phone by wire, wireless Bluetooth or Wifi.  I’m not so sure about Symbian but i heard they can do remote control from computers too.

The design of the Robot is completely up to you, however the main design component is that the robot should be sturdy with low central gravity, also the part where your phone is held, make it like ‘soft suspension’ and not ‘stiff and hard’.   In other words isolate your phone from the main body, build the supporting structure with as little parts as possible, it will end up slightly wobbly and be able to absorb impact.  Your precious phone is on board, you will need to do own your necessary precautions.

Part 2, from here on i’ll cover

1. how to connect and control NXT BRAIN by Bluetooth, under my Know-Hows page → NXT REMOTE

2. how to connect, remotely control and view windows mobile camera from computer through wifi, under my Know-Hows page → Windows Mobile Remote

3. how to connect and view phone’s camera from computer through wifi, under my Know-Hows page → View Phone Camera Wirelessly. (For symbian and other phones.  Results depend on your phone’s compatibility with the mentioned 3rd party program.  Note: i haven’t been successful with this, if you have problems i can only do my best to help you.)

Part 3, Basically once you’ve reach this part you’re almost done !   What’s left are just small tweaks or modifications,  you can add NXT/RCX sensors to let you see the world in more colours or if you’re really into it, add custom made equipment to make your robot more professional.  One more thing, there’s a limit to Wifi’s and Bluetooth’s control range, find ways to improve them.  I provided you with the geez for this project now it’s time for you to play !

Summary how do i do it?

Control NXT → Bluetooth Vehicle Remote by Anders

Feed live audio → Call the phone on board and answer call by remote control

Feed live video → View the camera from Remote control program on laptop or 3G video call

Take pictures/videos → Remote control the phone on board to do so

Whatever the phone can do → I can do remotely via Remote control program.

  1. April 6, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually
    something that I think I would never understand. It seems
    too complex and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the
    hang of it!

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