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

Voice Command Running Jacket Prototype – Arduino Mixed With Voice Commands and Scrolling LED Matrix

Here is a fun project that I have been working on over the past month.

I have blogged about wearable technology a few times now, and I am happy to say that this Prototype is coming along nicely and would work very comfortably with a NIKE+ FUEL BAND.

The basic idea is that a runner could wear this “smart jacket” and it could be trained to respond to simple voice commands.  The runner could say “RIGHT” or “LEFT” or “EAT MY DUST”, and the jacket’s on board LED Matrix displays would act accordingly.

A possible design flaw, you could be the act of building this into a jacket vs building the apparatus that could be attached to any jacket… but for now… lets just say it is a jacket…

The over all parts list for building this prototype are fairly in expensive and could probably be achieved for under $100.  if you wanted a super cool Nike running jacket it could add to the cost 🙂

The Arduino compliant voice command shield is here.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Voice-Recognition-Module-Arduino-Compatible-/261291298198?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cd62ccd96

 

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HERE ARE MY MOLE SKIN SKETCHES OF THE PROJECT:
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Let me know what you think, Comment, Respond.

 

Thanks,

Damon

 

 

Athletic Jersey Powered With Arduino LilyPad Can Detect Jumping – Lights Up LED

2014 is going to be a really good year for technology based wearable clothing.  Take for instance  CUTECIRCUIT. This company has been building LED clothing now for awhile and is just now starting to become mainstream enough that Mercedes has picked up on it.

CHECK OUT THESE VIDEOS: these are amazing

Wearable clothing technology has been out in the wild for some time but it has been encased in the avante garde and tech communities which have a higher adoption rate of technology.

In 2013 the “wearable” concept was really put in motion by wrist bands like NikeFuel Band, Jawbone, and FitBits.  If you look at the group of people that these wrist wearables were targeting there is a marketing secret, in that “Athletes” bridge the divide.  They are not completely avante garde but have passions for style, and they are not completely techy but they see a need for technology because it helps them compete.

Ok so without jumping into a Marketing Theory rabbit hole, as this is a short blog post, “Wearable clothing technology” is going to be hot… as it is the next evolution of the wrist wearable wave.

So I started thinking of places where we would see this outcropping of wearable technology and I came up with a really neat idea for a Basketball Jersey built on the Arduino LilyPad technology.  Again nothing new as you would have seen in the CUTECIRCUIT link above ( I completely admire them by the way ) but I think unlike the CUTE CIRCUIT folks my idea for a basketball jersey has a more “mainstream” approach as the idea could expand into many different sports.

The basic idea would be to create a jersey that contained an accelerometer connected to an Arduino LilyPad.  Which could detect specifically “jumping” at which point the Arduino would turn on LEDs contained in the jersey.  If you think about it for a second the very idea of a player jumping to slam dunk a basketball or catch a football and to have their jersey light up with a pair of LED wings would be fantastic.

HERE IS A GREAT RESOURCE FOR BUILDING AN LED SHIRT:

geekmomprojects

HERE ARE MY MOLESKIN SKETCHES:

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Swiss Army Knife With Detachable GPS Key Fob

I was using the bottle opener on my Swiss Army Knife the other day during a conversation about GPS Key Fobs… well like all good ideas ( they happen in the middle of good conversation )
First let’s back track and talk about Swiss Army Knives… I happen to be a really big fan of them because they embody everything about my dad and grandfather that can be bottled up into an object.  My dad was an electrical engineer and an inventor, my grandfather was a machinist and wood worker… if you condense those ideas into a pocket object -poof- you have the legacy and essence of a little red pocket knife…
Technology in this day and age is becoming almost as Science Fiction as you can get, the tools and ability of the general public is edging into the realm of Batman’s Utility belt.
A piece of technology that I have always wanted was the cool quick toss magnetic tracking device, an idea used in comics as old as Dick Tracy.  The gadget essentially upon throwing it magnetizes to the surface of an object ( if metal ) and can be used to track anything ( which is essentially how Batman always finds the super villains hideout )
In the practical world you could use the technology for loads of things like: you’re going camping with your dog… you don’t want to keep him on a leash but you want him to be able to run free… You’re with your kids, you want to let them go play in the woods etc. There are tons of spur of the moment situations where this handy little gadget’s functionality could be used.
CURRENT PRODUCTS AND TECHNOLOGY
BASIC KEY-CHAIN FUNCTIONALITY THIS WOULD OPERATE LIKE
HERE IS MY MOLESKIN SKETCH:
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Swiss Army Knives are such a great pocket tool

Mobile Floor Projection Belt – Invention – For Fashion or Just to Make it Look Like Your Walking on Fire

I found a company the other day searching around online for Arduino projects that created LED clothes: http://led-clothing.com/

The web site is full of inspiration, and you can get lost for hours thinking of possibilities for trade shows, special events, new business opportunities, web apps… you name it the idea will come to you when your clicking around at that web site.

It really made me think about the possibilities of wearable gadgets and about the future and potential for making things that we really consider as science fiction.  I’ve always admired the holodeck concept from Star Trek, but when it comes down to actually building something like the Holodeck the technology is extremely expensive, a little to high-tech and then there is the classical problem of the “human-plug-in” apparatus… The idea of putting something on your head, putting something on your hands, standing in a suspension cage, etc. becomes the classic hallmark of putting a person into a virtualized environment problem.

But then what about all of the new work being done in the area of interactive projector projects out there like the kind at Magic Carpet: http://sensoryguru.com/magiccarpet/

The basic idea of altering our environment to produce a desired outcome is an old concept and we can really see how technology is starting move us into this space in which we don’t have to have the physical object there but that the ability to have a representation of an object gives just enough visual to change perception.  Think about the ability to actually change your environment in a radius around your body, that others can see like the floor projection example above.

So I set out on thinking about a way create mobile floor projection… The idea is pretty simple, and could be updated by some really good hardware specialists to be a fraction of the size.  The visual effect of your shadow obstructing the light hitting the floor actually would be correct being that it would simulate light at high noon.  The basic premise is to have three possibly 4 pico projectors mounted to a belt, that would in effect project the floor as you walked.  You simulate games in which your jumping over obstacles, it could be used for training instances like construction sites, fashions shows, etc.

HERE ARE MY MOLESKIN SKETCHES: I submit this idea to Quirky so if you like the invention be sure to vote on it along with my other inventions. http://www.quirky.com/invent/738775/action/vote/query/sort=ending_soon&categories=all

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A Real Star Wars Light Saber – That Should Work – In Theory…

Ok All you Star Wars Enthusiasts, I like many after watching Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back had an overwhelming urge and completely awesome inspirational moment …. Dude…. I’M GOING TO MAKE A LIGHT SABER… Which of course shortly there after, I jumped on Google and found a massive amount of Theoretical Particle Physicists , talking about the basic qualities of light and energy.  Which quickly made me realize that making one of these things wasn’t going to be easy.

But then I thought, well obviously some of the technology isn’t available yet but building a less powerful light saber shouldn’t be to hard… and when the technology becomes available like a civilian laser strong enough to cut through most objects can be acquired… with this design you’d simply swop out the better laser.

LIGHT SABER – PARTS LIST: the basic ideas

HERE ARE MY MOLESKIN SKETCHES – HAVE FUN….

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Basic idea is your trapping light between two mirrors, until you cut off the laser.  Obviously the Laser in the future would be more powerful… Obviously the motorized extender would be faster… but all-in-all from a functional prototype perspective…. DUDE IT’S A LIGHT SABER…