UPDATE Voice Command Running Jacket Prototype – Phase 3 – using the functional prototype

New Update on my Voice Command Running Jacket project.  The first update being that the entire project has essentially turned into a “Voice Command Directional Apparatus” module.  I found this to be a better direction for the project as you can take the device and use it on almost anything that can sustain a balanced state while being shaken.   Objects like a helmet, a jacket, a shirt it really doesn’t matter where you put it as long as the voice recognition Arduino modules can pick up your voice which works from about 15ft away.

Before I begin with my prototype I want to show you some of the really great products and ideas out there already, so there is a basis for my project.  I hope what you’ll see is that each product has it’s advantages and disadvantages.  Mine would be literally hands free, and the ability to use it in conjunction with different kinds of objects and situations makes it more versatile.

FIRST PRODUCT COMPARISON:
This product has similarities but, relies on the functionality to be stuffed into a sweatshirt
Dr. Leah Buechley used this device to test out her Lilypad – an Arduino designed for wearables and e-textiles. In this use the Lilypad powers a set of left and right turn LEDs as well as power and switch indicator LEDs on the jacket.

http://lifehacker.com/5913591/create-a-bicycling-jacket-with-turn-signals

SECOND PRODUCT COMPARISON:
Seil Bag has been designed to display left and right signals, well actually various signals that the rider wants to display instead of using hand signals, it comes in the form of a backpack. There’s a small controller which can be used to transmit basic signals to LED display

http://www.tuvie.com/seil-bag-for-bike-riders-displays-turn-signals-to-inform-others/

 

MY PROJECT PROTOTYPE IN COMPARISON:

Video of me putting the Voice Command Directional Apparatus on a Columbia Fleece, and simulating night time running.

Video of my beautiful wife wearing the Voice Command Directional Apparatus on a Columbia Fleece and being my first test subject.  It took some convincing… but after calling me a dork a few times she agreed.

THE FUTURE OF THE PROJECT – PHASE 4

At this point I am going to start putting  refined versions of this project and a few variations of it in the Fall Milwaukee Gallery Night.  If you would like to see this project in person and have a drink with some exceptional people, stop down to Thirsty Boy in the thirdward.

I have also posted this project to quirky.com, Please vote on it.  If you haven’t used quirky.com before check it out, it is like Kickstarter but better.

 

HERE ARE MY MOLESKIN SKETCHES – Showing the now modular apparatus being used in other situations.

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UPDATE Voice Command Running Jacket Prototype – Phase 2 – adding the voice command module

I have an update to my Voice Command Running Jacket Prototype.

The Arduino UNO finally has Phase 2 parts added.  The last time I posted about the project on Word Press I had the two 8×8 matrix displays setup to receive scrolling directions based on text input commands sent through the Serial Monitor.

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Building upon that code, I now have those functions that were being called on text input now setup to act inside a switch case block inside the event for voice capture and recognition.  The great part about starting the project off with text input through the Serial Monitor is that the Voice Command Module still operates through the serial port thus making the original code for this project very scalable.


CODE BREAK DOWN AND PITFALLS:
There are a couple of really good Classes/libraries that I am using in this project. The first is the Parola Library:
http://parola.codeplex.com/

This Library is a pretty robust scrolling library. The ability to scroll text, isn’t to hard to do from scratch, but the creators of this library have easing, inverted text and support for fonts to name a few.

* If you are going to use this library, there are a couple of pitfalls that you should keep in mind. The library was originally designed to work with a specific 8×8 LED matrix display, it has been updated to use any generic 8×8 but you have to update the .h file.

The next Library in the list is the SoftwareSerial, which actually is an internal Arduino Class that you import. Using this class helps assign RX and TX to other slots on the board.
*This is another pitfall area that I want to call out. All Arduino boards have dedicated TX and RX slots. The catch is the dedicated slots don’t allow interrupts back and forth. This for the most part was undocumented until I found an Ardunio forum page online that explains it in detail which slots on what boards do support interrupts.

HARDWARE BREAK DOWN AND PITFALLS:

The Voice Command Module is really easy to use,  It has 4 connection points ( GND, VCC, TX, RX) which fit as they should on the Arduino board and you can get up and running within 45min… If you have the information I have in the next two paragraphs… before you start…

* The catch here is that in order to interact with the Module you have to use a specific serial monitor app that ships with the device, which isn’t the best piece of software… and the Manual lacks some specific explanation as to the exact format of the HEX CODES the Voice Command Module needs inorder to set it up.  The Manual has a detailed table showing all the Commands ( 0x36 )but doesn’t express that the format  isn’t what is in the table but looks like this ( AAx36 ) instead…

*Also another pitfall that was undocumented was the act of “NOT” flipping the TX and RX connection points on the USB TTL adapter.  In almost every project that I have used on the Arduino you flip RX and TX, but for the recording and saving voice commands from your PC to the Voice Command Module, you don’t…  This took me 2 hrs of trial and error to find this bug.  This was really hard to find because the software is so bad, the issue looks as though it is your RX display settings.

All in all this project has been really fun, and shows the power of prototyping with Arduino and it’s plethora of compliant modules.

The previous video and older Blog post can be found here:
https://darkriderdesign.wordpress.com/2014/04/20/voice-command-running-jacket-prototype-arduino-mixed-with-voice-commands-and-scrolling-led-matrix/

 

HARDWARE PARTS LIST:

Arduino UNO:
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11021

8×8 Matrix Displays:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/181221282262?lpid=82

Voice Command Module:
http://www.elechouse.com/elechouse/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=168_170&products_id=2151

 

 

If you like this comment, and let me know what you think.

 

cheers