The Most Interesting Use of a ‘Microbot Push’ Automated Button-Presser

App developer Howie Cooperstein uses Microbot Push to press the button on a Philips Hue bridge.


Howie's own UI on MicroBot Push

Howie Cooperstein has developed an app called OnSwitch that brings advanced functionality to Philips Hue smart-lighting systems. To create and test the software, he must press the link button on the Hue Bridge many times a day.

Not only does this effort tax his wrists and try his patience, it also strains his heart from the multiple journeys to and from the Bridge.

If only an assistant could press the button for him!

Enter the assistant: the Prota MicroBot Push from Naran. This little $42 motorized button-pusher can press, double-press, press-and-hold and perform other magical button-pressing feats through an app that has become Howie’s new bff.

Being the geek that he is, Howie wasn’t content to use MicroBot’s own UI to press the Hue link button. Instead, he created a graphical overlay with an image of the Hue Bridge atop MicroBot’s push hot-spot.

It makes Howie feel like he’s actually pushing the Hue link button.

“It cracks me up every time I use it,” my old University of Michigan pal tells me.

More: Making Dumb Things Smart: 8 Very Interesting Non-Invasive Problem Solvers at CES 2017

VIDEO: MicroBot Push presses link button on Philips Hue Bridge.

About the Author

Julie Jacobson
Julie Jacobson:

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson




Philips HueProta