Asked — Edited
Resolved Resolved by Rich!

Sound Advice

I'm new here and have a question. Let's say that I want to build a system that will allow me to speak directly to a robot and have it reply by playing an existing sound file. I don't want to speak into a tablet or headset, but directly to the robot. There will be no servos running, no whirring or clacking of other components, so there will be no background noise. Does the EZ-B v4 allow for a microphone input that would allow me to do this? If not, is there another piece of hardware you can think of, maybe even one that is self-contained, that would for this function?




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There is no microphone input on the ezb itself... However, you could put a bluetooth mic on the robot.... The Bluetooth mic would be obviously connected to your pc...


If you know what the robot should answer, it is easy to program the input and response. But, if you want a Natural Language input, you will have to use something like pocket sphinx or something like that. EZB uses Windows speech rec and generation. Now, EZB-4 has a speech generator. I am not sure if it has a speech rec program in it.

RichR, we answered at the same time.

Welcome aboard! This is a good place to hangout.


I don't know if the EZ-B v4 will allow for a microphone input but if it don't you could use a wireless microphone and have the receiver plugged into the microphone input on your computer


As you are aware by the servo comment you made, the robot would not be able to hear you when it is moving or holding servo positions, etc. due to noise. But since you know that, we can make this pretty easy:) Talking directly to the robot would require a microphone, obviously.. And if you are making a robot that you wish to speak directly too for some reason, perhaps it is a personable robot? Meaning, you want people to have an "emotional" interaction with it. In this case I would recommend mounting the computer directly within the robot - specifically since you do not want to give the impression that the robot is "remote controlled"

As a second and more popular option, use a wireless mic and continue to have the processing offloaded to a remove PC/mobile device. Not mounting a computer in the robot saves a great deal of battery power, allows for greater control and expandability.

If you do mount the microphone on the robot, expect many recognition issues. I always recommend using a headset with speech recognition... well, I'm not the only one who recommends that but so does Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc...:)


Wow, you guys are fast. Thanks for the input, Richard R Moviemaker and Wolfie. I'm such a novice at this that I hadn't considered mounting a wireless bluetooth mic inside the robot and having that pass the information to a tablet.

DJ Sures, yes, the robot would be personable and not remote-controlled. So if I understand the general process correctly, if I mount a bluetooth mic inside the robot, a person's voice would be passed to the tablet, where the ARC software resides. The ARC "hears" the voice command, then tells the EZ-B v4, which is mounted inside the robot, to issue the correct response through a speaker inside the robot.

Example: Someone says "Are you having a good day?" to the robot. That phrase is passed via bluetooth to the tablet. I've already programmed the software so that if the phrase "Are you having a good day?" is received, it should play a specific sound file as a response (I'm not trying to generate a synthesized, Siri-like answer, but a specific prerecorded voice that plays on a sound file).

Does that process sound about right?



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If the tablet is built in too then you don't need to use bluetooth, you could use wired, which would save on having to power the bluetooth mic.

But yes;

Person > External (Bluetooth) Mic > Tablet > ARC Recognition Control > Speech/MP3 from speakers


Thanks, d.cochran. And when DJ Sures recommended, as the first option, to mount the computer directly within the robot, would you happen to know if he was referring to connecting EZ-B v4 to something like a raspberry pi within the robot, so that everything is self-contained, or was he referring to just the EZ-B v4 itself?



Dj was referring to a tablet PC (running windows 8) like an Acer W3 or similar... If you want voice recognition, your current options are a Windows 8 tablet... Eventually voice rec will come to Android a IOS (I would assume) too...

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Mount the tablet or PC in the robot. The EZ-B needs to be in the robot, it's what everything (servos etc) connect to.

You will need to check what can run ARC though. It must be run on either a Windows PC or tablet with Windows 7 or newer or made as an app and run on an Android or iOS device. It wont run on a Pi.

You can get small form factor PCs which run on 12v quite easily now. These are what are usually used. Either that or a Windows 7, 8, 8.1 tablet such as the Acer W3.


I see. Thanks so much, Rich and Richard R.



Yep! The Raspberry Pi is not fast enough to process your requests, or have all of the specs to run ARC. Good Luck!

My Sunshine robot has no problem hearing me correctly. I have a mic on her. But, I had to go through SOOOOooo many mics until I found one that would work. Most of them do not work. And, I don't remember the name of the mic and it is not on the mic. But, I tried very expensive mics and a mic I got from BIG Lots was a cheap mic that worked.

Good Luck!


It was really resolved by Rich and Richard R and Moviemaker and DJ and everyone else who chimed in. Thanks so much.