This robot is designed to test the iPad 2's camera app in place of human fingers. Image: Pheromone Labs
There’s no better way to handle a boring, repetitive task than to let a robot do it for you.
Except, of course, if it’s a Lego robot. How much cooler can you get than that? (Answer: Not much.)
That’s exactly what Pheromone Labs did when they were tasked with manually testing the iPad 2’s camera app 10,000-15,000 times. They used a Lego Mindstorms kit to build what essentially boils down to an automated poking machine.
It works using a capacitive touch iPad stylus as a giant finger, driven by a set of motors. The finger pokes the iPad’s on-screen photo capture button over and over in what amounts to an infinite loop (so to speak). The robot setup uses a cardboard box placed on a desk with an iPad 2 secured inside, almost like a little photographic robo-cinema.
It’s a win-win situation. Developers get to work on less mundane tasks, while an unemployed robot gets put to work.
Thank goodness Pheromone Labs didn’t decide to just hire a poor intern to do this job.