Ericsson and LEGO at MWC 2012
At this year’s Mobile World Congress, one of the major fairs for the telecom industry, Ericsson’s User Experience Lab teamed up with LEGO Mindstorms to show connected Lego-robots hooked up to the Social Web of Things prototype.
The demo included four robots, each with a specific task. A laundry-robot that sorted socks by colour and placed them in different baskets while it chatted with the washing machine. A gardening-robot watered the plants when they said they were thirsty, the cleaner-robot thrashed empty coffee cups that it collected from the table, and a dog-like robot was fetching the newspaper when the alarm clock rang.
All robots were communicating through the Social Web of Things platform developed by the software research team at Ericsson Research. The platform, which is a service composition and “social” networking prototype for connected objects, enabled the Lego robots to post messages and to react to the messages from other connected things. In this demo, the plant posted a message to the newsfeed that it needed water, and the gardening-robot read the message in the newsfeed, commented on it and headed over to pour some water in it’s flowerpot.
Another part of the demo was that when a connected alarm clock rang, the dog-like robot, a.k.a. Paperboy2.0, eagerly went off to check if the newspaper had arrived.
The point with this whole stunt was to tease the MWC-visitor’s imagination with a playful and fun future vision of a networked (micro-)society, and to show that communication between the different connected things will add value in a network of everything. Using LEGO Mindstorms as prototyping material was also a successfull experiment for us, and since the demo worked without any hiccups running 10 hour days for a whole week, only pausing while swapping the robots’ batteries, Mindstorms is definitively something we will be using more. And of course, it was a very fun project :)
Check out the video!
A massive ‘THANK YOU’ to Steven Canvin, Jenn Wagner, Myra Lind and Marie Kjaer Buhl at LEGO System A/S, Santi Ortega, Eloi Garrido, Martí Salvador, Xavier Bassols, Xavi Benavides, Sandra Fernández and Sergi Perdices at La Salle University Barcelona and lluis Gibert, Koldo Olaskoaga, Jetro de Château, Gemma Nin, Victor J. Buforn, Jose Manuel Ruiz and Vicente Lis at Hispabrick Magazine.