OpenBot: Intel Labs Project of an Open Source Robot Created Around an Android Phone


by Matthias Müller, Research Scientist, Intelligent Systems Lab at Intel

Current robots are either expensive or make significant compromises on sensory richness, computational power, and communication capabilities. We propose to leverage smartphones to equip robots with extensive sensor suites, powerful computational abilities, state-of-the-art communication channels, and access to a thriving software ecosystem. We design a small electric vehicle that costs $50 and serves as a robot body for standard Android smartphones. We develop a software stack that allows smartphones to use this body for mobile operation and demonstrate that the system is sufficiently powerful to support advanced robotics workloads such as person following and real-time autonomous navigation in unstructured environments. Controlled experiments demonstrate that the presented approach is robust across different smartphones and robot bodies.

Logistics: We are doing this at noon because the author is on Munich time. A Zoom invite will be sent to registered attendees before the event


Matthias graduated with a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and Math Minor from Texas A&M University in 2011. After graduation, he joined P+Z Engineering as an Electrical Engineer and worked for 3 years on the development of mild-hybrid electric machines at BMW. In 2014, he started his M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering at KAUST and rolled over into the Ph.D. program which he completed in 2019. Matthias now works as research scientist at the Intelligent Systems Lab at Intel. His research interests lie in the fields of computer vision, robotics and machine learning where he has contributed to more than 10 publications in top tier conference such as CVPR, ECCV, ICCV, RSS, CoRL, ICRA and IROS. Matthias has extensive experience in object tracking and autonomous navigation of embodied agents such as cars and UAVs. He was recognized as an outstanding reviewer for CVPR’18 and won the best paper award at the ECCV’18 workshop UAVision.


  Date and Time




  • Date: 10 Feb 2021
  • Time: 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
  • All times are America/Los_Angeles
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Zoom URL will be sent to registered attendees the day before the event.

  • Starts 28 January 2021 01:00 PM
  • Ends 09 February 2021 08:00 PM
  • All times are America/Los_Angeles
  • No Admission Charge