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Asked — Edited

Sound Output Question On The Ez:1 Robot

I have a really weird thing with the EZ:1 robot and the v4

I have a large robot script doing lots of cool stuff, but recently I am seeing SayEZBwait phrases that randomly speak twice and sometimes more and Soundboard waves that repeat or stop halfway through the wave and start again?

Has anyone seen this, or have any ideas? I wondering if its the v4, but taking it out and now replacing it from the robot is a big job as you can see from the photo below - if there is an easy fix then I would prefer to try that before pulling the robot apart!

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ARC version ?
I'm guessing...

if you are using a recent ARC version, i would try an older version from last year 2015.

The ARC code has been improved several times to support the new hardware (IoT Tiny), and a better scheduler task.

Sometimes new improvements introduces new bugs:)
I'm guessing your code is being executed twice - which is why you're hearing stuff twice. This is because the Windows speech engine will not play something twice unless it's told to play something again.

To test it, add a variable that increments each time the phrase is spoken and see if the variable changes. For example ...


Sayezbwait("hello this is a number: " + $cnt)

Lastly, there's a chance the audio buffer is causing a repeat due to extremely high cpu usage on the ARC PC. This is because the way audio is streamed has a start and stop command - if the stop command is sent late, then the audio buffer may have enough time to repeat.

The audio buffer is circular, so if there ever is a network congestion issue, the audio will repeat the rather than stop.
Toy maker mine does it all the time. I was showing some friends today and it kept repeating itself over and over. It is a somewhat long sentence so I thought it was my network.
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It looks like it is the standard v4 that maybe is the problem. I now continually get fragmented/repeating on the Soundboard wave on the robot. For a test I set up my v4x/2 on the lab bench (with no I/O connections) and ran the same script many times and the problem never occurs, so it looks like the v4x/2 may solve the problem - I will not know for sure until I strip the robot down completely and swap over the v4. When the Soundboard is being used in this script no other robot actions are happening. I cannot see that anything on the robot could cause these multiple sound re triggering.

If this is a network problem, then maybe the improved v4x/2 is solving this particular issue?

Tony Ellis profile at: https://branded.me/tony_ellis
How did you obtain one of the newer boards?
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@kamaroman69, I obtained a board as I asked DJ if I could be a beta tester.

I must have a fault on the onboard standard v4 as it never carries out the speech/waves properly - it goes wrong every time? Going back to the v4x/2 (not on the robot) then the problem never happens so it cannot be on the PC, ARC side.

DJ, I tried your count increment idea but it did not work when the phrase was spoken 2 or more times the count stayed at one - I guessed we would need a multi-line command with the cnt++ on the start of the line followed by the Sayezbwait phrase to see if the variable would change, but as cnt++ is on the prior line then its never going to increment if the Sayezbwait line starts again.

I will get some time this week to strip the robot down and swap over the v4 controllers.

Tony Ellis profile at: https://branded.me/tony_ellis
United Kingdom
Update on the sound output problem.

I have extracted the v4 gear tray from the robot and it is now sitting on the bench not connected with anything I/O etc except for the external speakers. The problem is still there with speech/wave problems every time the script(s) are run. If I then run the same scripts on the v4x/2 it works fine every time.

I am sure that the original v4 just went faulty it has been in the robot for over a year with no problems whatsoever? So I do not think there is anything wrong with the original v4 controllers, I probably just had an unlucky fault appear on this original unit, not sure what else it can be?
@Toymaker, if you want to post your project, or enough of it that duplicates the issue, I would be happy to try with my V4's (all original shipment, although all upgraded to the latest available firmware) just to make sure it is an issue specific to your device.

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Thanks Alan for the offer, but the script(s) in question are very basic and should not cause this, most of them have been in full operation (before the fault) with no problems.

It is a very strange fault as DJ said Windows at the PC end generates the TTS and wave output so logically it would need to be the cause of re-triggering - but then if windows is re-triggering then surely it that would also happen with v4x/2 (as well) but it does not? It has to be in the streaming mechanism their must be a buffer in there that maybe restarts? If I can get some spare time later I will do a video of both v4 controllers audio output (to the same script) to show whats happening.

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OK here is a quick and very rough video of the v4 sound problem I am having - please excuse the second v4x/2 part as the sound is coming from its micro speaker the sound may be poor but the TTS and wave is being outputted correctly.

I have nothing to add th this thread. However I've got to say it's great to see the V4/2 in operation and I love your videos. They are always a treat. Also I love the adult themed insult. You have a great sense of humor!

I'm glad the new version of EZB has solved your problem. I know you want to find the ultimate cause because you're going to sell this robot but you may have already found it. A broken older EZB. Sh** happenes in the robot world as you already know. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. :D
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Dave, I am worried now, I did not mean any adult themed insult to anyone am I missing something here?

No, no. LOL. Don't worry. I'm talking about the sound clip where he say's to bite his shiny metal a**. I almost fell off my chair laughing when I heard that one. Don't change it. The little snowflakes of the world who may be offended will just have to toughen up and learn to laugh a little. ;) You actually hear worse than this on primetime TV nowadays. :)
United Kingdom
Dave, the ALTAIR robots impersonate other TV/movie robots for fun - in the Bender cigar script the EZ:1 takes on the personality of Bender and picks up a cigar and then smokes it before giving the classic Bender phase "bite my shiny metal arse"!

The ALTAIR robots also impersonate B9, C3PO, Hal 9000, Robbie (Forbidden Planet), Marvin (Hitchhikers) and others.

Glad it made you laugh!