Integrating Software and Hardware for an Intuitive Educational App

RM listing image with the RM logo and an illustration of an Oti-Bot

We're working alongside RM Education to develop a range of intuitive apps that enhance the functionality of their educational tools. Together, we are fusing purposeful hardware with intelligent software for products that inspire.

RM Education creates innovative teaching aids to encourage STEM learning. We teamed up with them to create an application for their flagship robot, Oti-Bot, designed to empower children through accessible education.

Oti-Bot being used by 2 children on a tablet

RM Education is a leading designer of educational tools, helping children to feel more confident, able, and empowered whilst they learn. Oti-Bot is their latest product; a high-tech robot for children in KS1 and KS2. It’s designed to aid in education across subjects and teach them the basics of coding, as well as provide children with a humanoid, comforting companion whilst they learn.

We were approached by the RM Education team to create an accompanying app for Oti-Bot. They wanted an application that appealed to a younger audience. It needed to be simple to navigate, work in collaboration with the robot, function seamlessly on both iOS and Android and enable complete remote control of Oti-Bot.

Start Of The Project

Oti-Bot being controlled by an IPad

Brightec set out to develop a responsive, user-focused iOS and Android app to enhance RM Education’s educational robot.

Throughout development, Brightec collaborated with the RM Education team and their manufacturers. After initial meetings to discuss their expectations, we pitched our ideas to RM Education and began to flesh out the project details together. Oti-Bot was still in the prototype phase when work got underway, so we had to rethink our workflow. We began by designing the user interface without connectivity, focusing on a simple yet intuitive layout for the app. We knew this had to be both appealing and easy enough for a child to use, so every button placement and colour choice was carefully considered.

Delving Into Project Challenges

4 screenshots on tablets from the Oti-Bot application

No project is without challenges, and with Oti-Bot it came in the form of connectivity. When Bluetooth failed, we had to look elsewhere.

Initially, we set out to connect Oti-Bot to our Android/iOS app using Bluetooth. But hampered by video feed issues and dropouts, the connection between hardware and software wasn't reliable enough.

We sat down with RM Education and their manufacturers to work through this challenge, each putting forward ideas to find the best solution. After much deliberation, it was decided that we’d remove Bluetooth from our plans, switching instead to WiFi. It was a more reliable, secure connection that would enhance communication between the devices. When prototyping, these sorts of obstacles are unavoidable. With an adaptable team and some clever thinking, we can find a solution.

How We Progressed The Project

Oti-Bot being interacted with by using a tablet

After initial prototyping, we met face-to-face with Oti-Bot. At this point, our ideas began to take shape, and we worked with this clever robot to breathe life into the project.

The discovery phase was an exciting one for our team - it was at this point that we got to meet Oti-Bot (affectionately known as ‘Oti’). Now we needed the robot’s hardware to connect to our app. Our developers researched both sides intricately, understanding how they would communicate when connected and manoeuvring the Bluetooth problem. To speed up the process, this discovery phase was carried out simultaneously with the design of the user interface. When both were completed, they could then be connected.

2 Children holding an Oti-Bot and an iPad showing the control application

As we developed the app, we constantly gathered feedback from RM Education and their manufacturers. Their team understood their target audience and had plenty of experience developing tools for them, so we knew their input would be invaluable. We loved working with such a knowledgeable team with incredible goals for accessible education.

Throughout the design process, every decision we made and feature we created was built with children’s safety and development in mind. We were deeply committed to our responsibility to look after the children who would use Oti-Bot, we incorporated security measures into our connectivity to ensure it can’t be hacked or abused, and it can’t connect to the internet.

How We Delivered

At the end of the project, we delivered a fully-functioning app with flawless connectivity, bridging the gap between Oti-Bot’s hardware and the required software. Our unified team were able to run separate aspects of the project simultaneously, ensuring we delivered to the specifications on time. We became very fond of Oti and also built a flourishing relationship with RM Education, a company whose goals we truly believe in.

We continue to provide support to RM Education and deliver regular reports to keep them up to date with their app and its usage. Whenever they need us, Brightec will be ready to help.

Mobile Apps to Drive Businesses

Our team at Brightec know how important an app can be to your business, which is why we work hard to create cutting-edge, intelligent mobile applications no matter what your needs.

Available on the App Store & Google Play Store