Status update on Willie:

  Willie has reached that station in his life where he can stand on his own feet. he is essentially complete physically and is running pretty well if the voice recognition will work consistently.

  After some research and experimentation I have ascertained that while an 8 inch pad fits perfectly into his back and is esthetically pleasing, It's performance is poor to say the least. A ten inch microsoft convertable does not fit but can be made to mount outside the envelop of his back shell. It works, but performance while better than the pad it is still poor. The laptop which has been the source of Willie's access to the outside world has proven to be the best option in terms of performance. When I talk to him if the voice recog and network are working right his responces are quick. 

  I have decided to go for performanc and use the laptop as his link/brains. I light of my goal to make him stand alone with no tehters or umbilicals, I am pursuing wireless connectivity on all of his links.

  For his audio link I am in the process of finding a bluetooth audio link to the computer that includes an amplifier so that his voice will be loud and clear. This is by far the easier of the two links to find a Commercial off the shelf solution to in that there are a number of these available from a company called nobsound. LIkely the audio receiver/amp will be in one of his legs to save space in the body cavity for other things.

 So far no solution has presented itself to a wireless usb connection. This was apparently under some investigation by the engeneering community a few years back but no satisfactory solution was found. Some of the components can still be had on the web at very low prices, but they are rep[uted to have poor performance and require drivers that only work in a 32 bit environment and are not available.

  If may be necessary to use a usb cable from the laptop to the usb hub. When closed the laptop is a low profile item to have on Willie's platform so while it is not the preffered solution to use a cable it may not be egregious especially in light of the fact that his auxilary power connection (either power supply or second battery), will be on the platform too. I will however continue to research wireless usb solutions and would welcome assistance from this community.

 It remains to solve issues with his usb hub which seem so be stuck at only 4 ports making it impossible to run both his eye camera and the Kinect. The kinect whie installed has not yet been powered up. There is a 12 volt supply available for this, but it is low on the priority list since the hub issue shold be solved before pursuing the kinect. I have also installed a 5 volt supply to service any requirements of that voltage (like a usb hub).

 I havae not yet approached the issue of passive infra-red detection because it is low on my list of priorities. I would like to get it working before October 31st so that Willie can greet Trick or Treaters but I am not so keen on it as to be in a rush. I assume that it will be availaable by then and if not he can still serve in that office since it is nearly 100% certain that Tose visitors will announc themselves audibly and he does not have to go to sleep. It would serve to conserve his battery very little, and the conditions of his situatin would minimize the probability of his umbilicals being detected.

 Still PIR is highly desireable in general.




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GroG's picture

Yep .. distributed brains are

Yep .. distributed brains are really good .. part of my brain is Google, along with everyone elses :)

So something which can process video, and recognize speech and run deeplearning requires "better" hardware.. while moving muscles can be done with simple electrodes .. (I mean micro-controllers :)

Sounds like you got a good strategy and have made a lot of progress ...  

We need more pictures ! :D