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Asked — Edited

What Is A Good Omnidirectional Microphone To Use On The Robot

I will be using an on board Mini ITX mb. for autonomous operations. Normally I will be using a Bluetooth microphone whenever giving specific commands to the robot.
However, what would be a good brand of omnidirectional microphone to use (mount) on the robot so it can hear clearly when others speak to it or ask it questions? I would like to find one for under $50. Does anyone have any suggestions?


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Rex, I've been struggling with this also. I've found that mounting the mic on the robot is a problem. It will pick up the motor noise and the SR wont work well. I want to find a wireless mic that can sit away from the robot and send signals to an on board ITX. Sadly this is getting away from what we both want to do but the robot noise wont let the SR work.
How about putting some sound deafening foam ? Just a suggestion
United Kingdom
I would really advise against any kind of remote mic (by that I mean any mic that's not within a foot of your mouth) for any kind of voice recognition. I've tried a few and so far background noise is always an issue. Currently I use the Kinect mic array which is supposed to be really good and it isn't... dictation is very poor.

I'm just about to risk losing bluetooth connection to the EZ-B by attempting to connect a PS3/phone BT headset to my PC... As far as I'm concerned this is the only low cost reliable way. (Wish me luck!..)
I have seen in "RoboCup-Home" using a long microphones of verbal orders, maybe use a gain attenuator between the microphone and the pc to suppress background noise.
I have a couple of these. They are optimized to catch both right and left side and each individual mic is removable and can be extended to have one mic on each side of your robot. Then its combined into one signal. They are Sony condenser mic about 7 dollars on eBay.
I've been using the Blue Snowball and have had fairly good results. of course accuracy is best when it's quite It's attached to the laptop with USB and about 6 feet away from the robot.
I see.... I kinda figured it would be a problem. I guess I'll just stick to ordering a wearable Bluetooth mic for now. Anyone know a good brand or place to order a decent one with noise canceling?

Josh, I could not get your video to play. I think the mic in the picture you posted would come in handy for me later. At $6.88 how can you go wrong ...:)

Dave, I may experiment later with your method.

Rich, I would like to hear how you experiment goes using the PS3/phone BT headset.
United Kingdom
Well it worked, but I haven't tried connecting to the EZ-B since or rebooted so not sure how well it worked... My concern is I had to install some third party BT software. VR is infinitely better although pandora bot still doesn't understand well enough. If it all works once I am brave enough to reboot and attempt connection to the EZ-B I'll post up details (that'll be tomorrow now, it's 12:45am here, I should be sleeping...)
United Kingdom
Right then, now I've tested it, rebooted, tested it again and all seems to be working great so far I'll post this here.

Finally got my Turtle Beach Ear Force PBX headset paired and working with the PC. This is a cool headset as it can be paired to two devices at the same time (designed for phone and PS3, with it being set to the PS3 as default but if your phone rings it switches over automatically). It also has a jack on it for an external speaker and mic (designed for non bluetooth headsets).

Quality isn't the best in the world but it's good enough to control Jarvis while I have music or a movie playing, and I don't have anything on quiet.

Out of the box, windows has problems with Bluetooth profiles for headsets. This was the main concern since the headset would not install under Windows. No drivers were found and it just didn't work. But, by installing third party bluetooth drivers/software it does work, and the EZ-B still connects without any issues (so far).

So how to do it...

Firstly you need to download and install this zip file (Broadcom Bluetooth - 57.7Mb).
Once installed, pair the headset as the headset's instructions.
Set the default recording device to the headset's mic.
And that's it.

I've rebooted a couple of times and connected to ARC successfully after installing the Broadcom drivers. The BT stack still reports that it is the Microsoft one which is great. The only thing I haven't done is tried updating firmware but I suspect that if ARC connects then so will the firmware tool.

I'm tempted to fit this in Melvin and run an external speaker and mic for a nice cheap method of both voice recognition and speech for the robot. And best of all, it charges from USB so I'm sure a quick mod of a USB cable to plug in to the EZ-B 5v rail will keep the headset charged when needed (untested).