Robot Control Techniques Using Phones and Remotes

An Introduction to Robots

Robot is machine that looks like human beings. That has been programmed to do some thing. The word Robot comes from the Slavic word robota (meaning forced laborer). The robot was developed in 1960’s.Robots are made of metals and mixer   of other elements. Robots just do command and what humans say. Thirty years ago robots were something in a science fiction movie. But today robotics is used in many areas. And it is very important to the future of mankind. The robotic technologies are improve to helping national defense, health care, manufacturing, homeland security, education, consumer goods and many different sectors. Already doctors are using robotics in special surgeries. Robots are important because it performs tasks that dangerous and impossible for human also to do.

5 Reasons why Robots have been popular

  • Speed
  • Dangerous environments
  • Repetitive Tasks
  • Efficiency
  • Accuracy


Robots may be used because they are faster than people at carrying out tasks. Robot is really a mechanism which is controlled by a computer. We know that computers can do calculation and process data very fast comparing with human beings. Some robots actually move more quickly carry out a task, such as picking up and inserting items, faster than human.

Dangerous Environments:

Robots may be used dangerous environment because they can work in place where a human would be in danger. For example robot can be designed to with stand greater amount of heat, radiation, chemical fumes than humans could.

Repetitive Tasks:


Some times robots are not really much faster than humans, but they are good at simply doing the same job over and over. This is easy for the robot, because once the robot has been programmed to do a job once, the same program can run many times to carry out the job many times. And the robot will not get bored as a human would.


Efficiency is all about carrying out tasks without waste. This mean

  • Not wasting time
  • Not wasting materials
  • Not wasting energy


Accuracy is all about carrying out tasks very precisely. In a factory manufacturing items, each item has to be made identically. When items are being assembled, a robot can position parts within fraction of a millimeter.

Controlling a Robot

A basic Robot or a robotic system consists of a rigid body which houses the whole circuitry of the robot. The circuitry consists of sensors which sense any changes in the environment and feeds this information to the control unit.

Based on the input from the sensors, the control unit accordingly controls the actuators. Thus the major operation of the robot lies with the control unit. In some applications, the Robot is completely automatic, i.e. the control lies within the device itself and based on some sensor unit, the actuators are automatically controlled by the control unit. In some applications, the robot is controlled manually.

Let us see two ways to control a robot manually

  1. Using a cell phone
  2. Using a TV remote

Cell Phone Controlled Robotic Vehicle:

When we talk about wireless robot vehicles, we generally think about RF technology circuits. But this project is very different. It uses a cell phone to control the motion of the robotic vehicle. Here we have used DTMF technology to control the robotic vehicle by using the mobile phone. We used two cell-phones, one is connected to robot and another is user phone. Communication is established between these two mobiles and if any key is pressed, that tone is heard to another end of the cell. This tone is called “dual tone multi frequency” tone (DTMF).

Cell Phone Controlled Robotic Vehicle
Cell Phone Controlled Robotic Vehicle
Cell Phone Controlled Robotic Vehicle Circuit Diagram
Cell Phone Controlled Robotic Vehicle Circuit Diagram

This project is designed to develop a robotic vehicle that is controlled by the cell phone.  This is based on 8051 microcontroller. The two cell phone controls the robot as per requirement. One cell phone is connected to the robot and another one is user cell. When a key pressed on user cell phone that key generates the corresponding tone, it is received at another cell. The received tone is processed by the microcontroller with help of the DTMF decoder. The decoder decodes the DTMF tone into binary digits and these binary coded data is sent to the microcontroller. Based on the input from the cell phone, the microcontroller accordingly gives proper signals to the motor driver to rotate each of the motor in desired direction. For instance, on pressing a particular number on the user mobile, the call automatically gets dialed to the system mobile phone. The system mobile is connected to the DTMF decoder which accordingly decodes the tone and the motor is rotated in the direction corresponding to the number pressed.

IR controlled Robotic Vehicle:

In this system mainly a robotic vehicle is controlled by the TV remote. Infrared (IR) sensor is interfaced to the robot control unit for sensing the remote signal. This information is passed on to the control unit which moves the robot as per the requirement. A microcontroller is utilized as a control system.

In this IR remote goes about as a transmitter. The point when button is pressed in the remote, the signal will be passes and gained by the IR receiver. This sign is sent to the microcontroller which decodes the signal and performs the relating movement as per the button pressed in the remote. For instance, if number 1 is pressed in the remote the robot will be turned left as per our requirement. The other undertakings test (forward, backward and right) will be performed in the comparative way utilizing IR. At the receiving end the development is attained by two motors that are interfaced to the microcontroller.

The program is written i.e., while executed it sends commands to the motor driver IC as per its requirement for running the motor for the movement of the robot as explained above.

IR controlled Robotic Vehicle Block Diagram
IR controlled Robotic Vehicle Block Diagram

If any doubts regarding this article, please leave a comment. And let me know more application and methods related to this?

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