I recently took an Edx class about the MIT app inventor, which was pretty informative. However, I always tell students that the best way to really learn something is to use the subject in a project that you care about.
Therefore, my first app “on my own” was to make a controller for my Claw Bot. Ever since I made the claw bot, I was thinking that I really should make my own controller, so this project was a good way to knock this out.
The first thing that I needed to do was to connect my Bluetooth Mate Silver to the phone that I was going to use for control. I read that the tools for Serial Port Protocol (SPP) were included in the app inventor, and found this tutorial to be a really good starting point. Once two phones were connected, it was pretty straightforward to have my “client” phone look for my Claw Bot instead of the other phone. Once I was connected, it was downhill all the way because I already had created an Arduino program to respond to commands sent over a Serial line. See the video below to see how it turned out!
An interesting challenge was coding the buttons to respond in a way that was intuitive for the user. I did this by making active buttons green, and disabled buttons red. I like the way that it turned out, but know that this project is just the tip of the iceberg!