6/17/13 -- 7/19/13
Blue Stamp Engineering
Main Project- Voice Controlled Robot!
My name is Daniel, I am a rising Senior and I attend LPS College Park. In my six weeks at Bluestamp I built a voice controlled robot. The project consisted of an Arduino, and EasyVR module, two servos, two wheels, a perforated board, a bit of Velcro, some screws, and a 6 volt lithium ion battery. What led me to create this project was the fact that I am bilingual. I speak fluent Spanish and fluent English, and since this is a voice controlled project I was thinking of commanding it in Spanish and in English. Unfortunately I did not have enough time in the program to do both languages so I only commanded it in English. To do so I had to download a software called the “EasyVR Commander”. This allowed me to insert commands using the microphone that comes with the EasyVR module. After I was done creating and inserting commands I then generated code from the EasyVR module to my Aduino. The code made the servos move, which in turn moved the wheels. Down below is what my finished project looks like and my final video, and my project inspiration came from instructables. I hope you find it as amazing as I do!
During the past 6 weeks at Bluestamp Engineering I have had a great deal of fun learning something completely new and out of my comfort zone. Before I came into this program I felt like I was lacking the experience of something truly challenging, and let me tell you this program was incredibly challenging. It’s not for your “Average Joe”. Bluestamp is meant for those at the top who are looking to expand their learning and have a really tough and fun time. Being a student who knows very little about engineering if any coming into this program was not easy. Everyday was a learning experience for me. From things like Soldering to coding, Bluestamp really pushed me not only as a student, but also as a young adult. There is now no doubt in my mind that failure is a good thing now because failure creates perseverance and builds character. I can’t count how many times I failed during these six weeks, but I know that each failure was completely worth it in the end when I finally got my project to function properly.
With that said I will now go into a few things I didn’t particularly enjoy about the program. For instance, I didn’t really enjoy the fact that I felt cluttered all the time. Almost as if I couldn’t move a muscle without someone’s project falling over. Another thing that was a bit tedious was the fact that the internet didn’t function the best and had to always be reset during a session. You would think people who are into technology would have light speed internet, but I guess not. Lastly I didn’t really feel like I knew everybody well. I feel that maybe in the beginning if there was time the students could have participated in a “get to know” type of activity.
Now into the things I enjoyed about the program. I don’t think I’ve ever been that excited about learning something new since I’ve learned the alphabet in preschool. The learning experience was definitely top notch. I came in there thinking I was just going to piece things together one by one, boy was I wrong. I’d say the challenge was the best part because as I have mentioned before I’ve never really been pushed that hard to learn and the time crunch of six weeks really added the pressure one needed to really persevere through it. Also I’d like to say that failure had never been so much fun. I don’t think I have ever really liked failing , but during the program I realized that failing is a sign that you’re another step closer to succeeding. That really proved to be the case when I constantly failed to get my robot to work properly.
Lastly I would like to say that this was an amazing experience. I really enjoyed meeting the rest of people that attended Bluestamp who are all incredibly intelligent in their own ways. Lastly I’d like to say it was an honor to participate in such a challenging and rewarding program. Thank you Dave and Robin for the wonderful experience!!
Throughout this program one of my biggest challenges was coding. Before I entered BlueStamp, I had no idea I was going to code. In fact I didn’t even know what code was. I now understand that coding is an important skill to learn when coming into robotics, but it is also a difficult task to push through. My coding experience wasn’t exactly the best, but the longer I spent around it the longer I familiarized myself with it. This caused me to begin enjoying it. After dozens of attempts to get my code to function correctly I finally had a breakthrough! The link to my final code is listed down below!
Schematic and Billofmaterialsandbuildsteps-Daniel
On Monday July 15th I was able to get my servo motors to function with my voice commands. After about ten days of work on this part of my project a became negative and frustrated on my project for not working, but than after a few simple modifications on my tedious code the servos finally decided to budge! The servos finally moving gave me a feeling of fulfillment and it allowed me to push through the rest of the building process. I encountered two mistakes which were flipping my motors in the wrong direction and not uploading the correct numbers in my code. For instance, there are three important numbers to move servos. The three numbers consist of 0, 90, and 180. The number 0 being one specific direction, 180 being the opposite direction, and 90 stopping the motors.
On the fifth of July I was able to control a red LED that was connected to my Arduino and my EasyVR module. I was able to control the LED by inputting commands into my EasyVR commander program. The commands consisted of me saying “LED on” and “LED off”. Through these commands I was able to make the LED function on and off through the use of my voice. Being able to complete this task after many days of work was a very rewarding process because I failed many times, but in the end all the failures were worth the success.
Voice Changer Electronic Kit M171
With the voice changer electronic kit you are able to disguise your voice in an amusing fashion. For example, sounding like a robot, adding a vibrato effect, and controlling the pitch buttons to heighten and lower your voice. The kit’s specifications are a speaker / line output, an on/off switch, an output power: 1.5W maximum into 4 ohms, and a 1.8″ x 3″ board. The consumer is responsible for providing the power source, the speaker, and the soldering on the board.