Author Topic: voice-activated microcontroller driven actuator for e-book reader  (Read 1940 times)

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Offline dmehlingTopic starter

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I have in mind what seems to be a simple project.  What I need is a voice-activated e-book reader.  I have been unable to find such a device.  So my idea is to mount a couple of servos (or more if necessary) near the main buttons (for example: the turn forward or backward buttons).  I haven't completely figured out the voice-activated part, but the plan is to use a voice recognition device of some sort that connects to the microcontroller.  When it receives a command to turn the page, the microcontroller will have the servo press the button.  I know this is a pretty inelegant solution, but I know very little about electronics and I'm not about to take apart a brand-new Kindle or fool around with experimental software hacks.  So I would like to know is, what would be the best way of installing servos and the type of servo arm to use?  Or alternatively, would there be something better to use than servos for this project?

Offline newInRobotics

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Re: voice-activated microcontroller driven actuator for e-book reader
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2012, 12:53:17 AM »
Hi  :)

Here's a link to Admins voice controlled robot instructable --> http://www.instructables.com/id/Voice-Control-Robot-in-7-Minutes/?ALLSTEPS

As for actuator, maybe solenoid is a better option :)
"Computer games don't affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music." - Kristian W

Offline Soeren

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Re: voice-activated microcontroller driven actuator for e-book reader
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2012, 09:54:35 PM »
Hi,

Or alternatively, would there be something better to use than servos for this project?
Yeah, get a Samsung Galaxy tablet and switch it on.
(Or even a Galaxy S2 or S3 cell phone, if you can live with a smaller screen).
No messing around, just switch on and enjoy ;D
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
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Offline dmehlingTopic starter

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Re: voice-activated microcontroller driven actuator for e-book reader
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2012, 11:37:23 AM »
I kind of like the idea of using a solenoid.  Can you suggest a small solenoid that would do an adequate job?  I don't have any experience using one, and I want to make sure that I would not get one that applies too much force.  In this case, pushing the button on a Kindle would not require much force at all.  Also, I'm not sure if the end of a typical solenoid is the best kind of thing for pressing against a button.  Is there some kind of soft material I could put on the end that would be kind of cushion like and ensure that the button is evenly pressed?

Offline newInRobotics

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Re: voice-activated microcontroller driven actuator for e-book reader
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2012, 11:41:10 AM »
That's what I wanted to offer You, to put something soft on the tip. A silicon sealant ball would do I reckon.
"Computer games don't affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music." - Kristian W

Offline dmehlingTopic starter

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Re: voice-activated microcontroller driven actuator for e-book reader
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2012, 11:49:55 AM »
Hi,

Or alternatively, would there be something better to use than servos for this project?
Yeah, get a Samsung Galaxy tablet and switch it on.
(Or even a Galaxy S2 or S3 cell phone, if you can live with a smaller screen).
No messing around, just switch on and enjoy ;D

Why exactly would that particular tablet work for my purposes?  As far as I know, voice recognition programs on tablets have limitations.  First of all, I don't think they can be completely voice controlled.  Don't they require you to push a button in order to listen for a command?  Also, they usually require Internet access since the voice control programs are cloud-based.  I need something that I can use mostly off-line and which will respond exclusively by voice.

Offline Soeren

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Re: voice-activated microcontroller driven actuator for e-book reader
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2012, 04:43:20 AM »
Hi,

Why exactly would that particular tablet work for my purposes?
I'm guessing here,but would the purpose be to assist a disabled person?


As far as I know, voice recognition programs on tablets have limitations.
All VR's have a less than 100% recognition, but hey, so does humans :)

Thinking that you can build a VR from scratch and do better than what's found on a Samsung is extremely optimistic (in very moderate terms). Those programs are made by people that have studied speech and the recognition of same for  years.


First of all, I don't think they can be completely voice controlled. 
Assuming the scenario of helping a disabled, I'd find it likely to be fairly stationary?
If that's the case, it can be operated from the mains (constantly on the charger), so powe drain is no issue - a small program can keep the screen on and the VR waiting for input for as long as you want (most eBook reader programs have an "always on" or a long timeout already).


Don't they require you to push a button in order to listen for a command?
Programming or the right program - like Vlingo can be set to listen as soon as it's opened.


Also, they usually require Internet access since the voice control programs are cloud-based.
Apart from the fact that I really dislike the term "cloud based" (pure pop not much different from 1337 IMO), I haven't seen any internet based ones and all the ones I have used work fine off line.
Do you have any examples?


Quote from: dmehling link=topic=15862.msg113082#msg113082
I need something that I can use mostly off-line and which will respond exclusively by voice.
[/quote
Any solution will have to be turned on initially and given the number of latch up problems in modern electronics, probably a "reboot" now and then.

I really think that you have a way better (and smoother) solution without trying to build a VR controlled solenoid, but if you tell us the application of the finished gizmo, perhaps other solutions can be found.

Is there a particular reason for using VR?  Perhaps other means could be utilized.
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

Offline dmehlingTopic starter

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Re: voice-activated microcontroller driven actuator for e-book reader
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2012, 10:11:28 AM »
I looked quite extensively for such a tablet with VR apps, and could not find what I was looking for, but apparently based on what you're saying I overlooked some possibilities.  As long as I can have the program available to listen for commands once it is turned on and booted up, and if it can be used off-line as well, then that would be exactly what I need.

I was by no means suggesting that I wanted to reinvent the wheel with VR.  My idea was to either use a VR module for control of a robot, or to use a Linux-based single board computer with an already existing VR program.

Offline dmehlingTopic starter

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Re: voice-activated microcontroller driven actuator for e-book reader
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2012, 10:22:57 AM »
Perhaps I replied too soon.  The only example you gave me of a VR app was Vlingo which cannot be used off-line and requires the user to press a button before it will start listening.  Can you give me some examples of apps that would actually do exactly what I need?  Otherwise, I will have to go back to my original plan.

Offline Soeren

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Re: voice-activated microcontroller driven actuator for e-book reader
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2012, 12:56:20 PM »
Hi,

I looked quite extensively for such a tablet with VR apps, and could not find what I was looking for
The application programs doesn't necessarily come with the device, you mostly have to find and install them yourself.


My idea was to either use a VR module for control of a robot, or to use a Linux-based single board computer with an already existing VR program.
OK. I think you'll find more VR programs for the Android platform though


Perhaps I replied too soon.  The only example you gave me of a VR app was Vlingo which cannot be used off-line and requires the user to press a button before it will start listening. 
Vlingo was just an example of a program that can be set to start with the device. You can find plenty of other VR's, but I don't use them that much, as English is not my native language and I have to use Danish for most of my friends and family - and that's not doable with the current VR programs :(
You have to search Google Play for a usable program, but whether you use a SBC or a tablet, you'll need to do a little programming yourself, to shape any program into your needs.


Can you give me some examples of apps that would actually do exactly what I need?  Otherwise, I will have to go back to my original plan.
As I have mentioned before (both in this post and previous ones, you have to do a little programming and search Google Play yourself.


If you'd rather use a Kindle, forget clumsy relays/solenoids and add a connector for bridging the buttons directly or via a transistor.
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

 


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