Sit, Shake, Howl – Training Your Robopet
Okay - so you unwrapped your robot pet, fed it a half a dozen batteries or more, and now you're trying desperately to get it under control by punching buttons on its remote control. But, wait a darned minute! This is a robot dog, and dogs are supposed to listen to and behave commands from their master's voice - right?
Robot Robert, the software developer that brought us The Robosapien Dance Machine, The Chrome & Dome Show video and blog, and added some great voice recognition capability to the Dance Machine software, decided to get his Robopet under control. And, as you might expect, on his Robopet blog (see links below) he reports that he has been successful in expanding the Dance Machine software project so that it works with the second generation of robots like the Robopet, Roboraptor, and Robosapien V2. He's still in the testing phase, but so far his results look extremely promising.
Robert reports -
"He's perfect for voice control. It is so much more fun ordering him to do tricks by simply saying "Howl", "Scratch", or "Give Me Your Paw" instead of pressing the tricks button 1 to 9 times followed by the execute button."
Thanks to Robert, the Dance Machine project is available as a Source Forge open source project, so anyone can down load, modify, and use it. The software runs on your PC, and transmits IR control code streams to the robot via an IR transmitter. The most commonly used device is the USBUIRT module, but there are others.
The basic scheme is fairly straight forward. You speak your command - like "Howl" or "Give me your paw" into the microphone connected to your PC. The software does voice recognition and maps your voice command to the corresponding command string to make the robot do what you want, then transmits it to the robot. Pretty darn cool!
If this functionality was combined with something like Ken Finch's Robopet additional IR sensor mode or an IR blaster, then we could sit back and command the Robopet to do our bidding all over the place. And, since the command mapping takes place in software on your computer, it should be possible to create new commands by compounding existing Robopet tricks.
Robosapien Dance Machine - Source Forge project
Adding a 2nd IR Detector - Robopet Mod by Ken Finch
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