Anyway, enough with my rants. Lets build some robots!
Step 1: Wire it Up
Attach the four wires to your VRbot as in the below image, matching the colors:
Next, attach those four wires to your Axon or Axon Mote. As described in the UART tutorial, Tx goes to Rx, and Rx goes to Tx. And of course VCC goes to 5V regulated on the Axon (or 3.3V regulated on the Axon Mote), and ground to ground.
For the Axon II, I used UART0 (U0) for this tutorial. T is Tx, R is Rx, and G is ground (not used).
For the Axon Mote, I used UART1 (U1).
And don't forget to add your battery to the Axon pin labeled Bat (for battery; B for Axon Mote).
Step 2: Preparing for the VRbot GUI
If you choose to use a ~$15 TTL to USB adapter, see my UART tutorial for more info. You connect Tx to Rx, Rx to Tx, Gnd to ground, and VCC to Vin, and you're set to go.
If you want to save a few bucks and use the Axon as an adapter, just keep the wiring as you already have it and plug in USB to your computer. You will need to upload a special program called usbuart0.hex (for Axon/Axon II) or moteU2S.hex (for Axon Mote) which can be found in the source code zip file mentioned later in this tutorial (both set to 38400bps). This program simply tells the Axon to exchange all data between UART0 and the USB - just like a TTL to USB adaptor.
warning: Do NOT use a .hex written for the Axon II and program it to the Axon Mote, and vice-versa.
Step 3: The VRbot GUI
Load up the VRbot GUI. At the top left, select your COM port and click the connect button.
If it connects, you are in luck. If it doesn't, which is often the case with the VRbot, do the follow things to debug:
Step 4: Configure Voice Commands
It will ask you to train your voice twice for each command. You will have this urge to speak slow and clear directly into the microphone, but DO NOT DO THIS. Instead, you want to speak in a realistic way. For example, if your robot will always be ~3 feet away from you, train it by speaking 3 feet away from the microphone. And if your robot moves around, train once speaking from above the microphone and the second time from the side of the microphone. Although you can't hear the difference, sound waves can vary greatly when changing the direction of that sound.
The point is, you want it to train your voice in the most realistic manner possible. After training, use the Test Group button to verify it's working well. You can always retrain otherwise.
Oh, and I usually turn off my air-conditioner when using it. It's too noisy.
The below image (click to enlarge) shows the commands I entered. If you are going to use my source code, make sure you do it just like I have it.
Step 5: Programming the Axon
If you have never programmed an Axon before, you must first read the Getting Started tutorial for your respective Axon.
- load up my demo in Project Designer
And finally, upload the compiled .hex to your Axon as usual.
For that, you will need a terminal program. My favorite is HyperTerminal. See this tutorial on how to use HyperTerminal (and other terminal programs).
Only one program can connect on a COM port at a time. You must disconnect with the VRbot GUI before you can connect with HyperTerminal.
After you are connected at 230,400 kpbs, turn on the Axon. You should immediately see a set of messages. Speak a command and see if it does anything.
If it just says 'voice recognition initializing ...' and appears frozen, then VRbot isn't working right. You have just discovered that the VRbot is very very flakey. If it doesn't respond, power reset just the VRbot (let the Axon remain powered). Also, go through the debugging instructions in 'Step 3: The VRbot GUI'. It should work after a few headaches.
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The VRbot Module was purchased from Sparkfun:
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