Speech Recognition

+ How To Add This Control To Your Project (Click to Expand)
  1. Load the most recent release of ARC.
  2. Press the Project tab from the top menu bar in ARC.
  3. Press Add Control from the button ribbon bar in ARC.
  4. Choose the Audio category tab.
  5. Press the Speech Recognition icon to add the control to your project.
This control uses the default audio device and listens for known phrases using the Microsoft Windows Speech Recognition Engine. Phrases are manually configured in the Config menu, and custom actions (via script) are assigned to your phrase.

Most robots make a lot of noise, so locating the input sound device in the robot is not a practical solution. It is best to locate the microphone on the controlling PC/Laptop or somewhere in the room away from noise. Turning the gain higher on the input device will allow voices to be recognized from across large rooms but will also increase false positives. Test with different gains for the best resolution. Expirement with different microphone locations and volumes for the best setup of your environment. Ideally, use a headset or Bluetooth mic rather than your laptop microphone.

Adjust Mic Input Volume

You might have to adjust the microphone input volume/gain. To adjust the mic volume use the Microsoft Windows volume mixer, and first make sure you have selected the correct input device. Your laptop or computer may have a few different mic devices. Maybe one is on a remote camera? Maybe even your monitor via HDMI? Find the mic you'd like to use and adjust the volume. We find this volume setting to be ideal on our test laptops:

1) right click on the little speaker on your system tray

2) Select "Recording Devices"

3) On the Recording tab of Sound, you'll notice a little VU meter beside the active device. Make sure your active device is indeed the microphone you want to use. By making sounds, the VU meter should move.

4) Double Click on the active device and there is a "Levels" tab for the microphone volume. I have my volume set for 78. Play around with different volumes until you see your voice is being picked up by the VU meter.

Adjust the volume input level/gain to display the voice volume near the middle of the VU Display graph. If the level/gain is too high, the recognition software will not work because the input audio will be distorted.

Usage Notes

*Note: This feature is only available from Windows 7 and newer (7, 8, 8.1, 10, etc.). For a detailed description of what errors your computer is receiving during Speech Recognition Init, open the DEBUG window under Utilities. Microsoft has provided assistance to configure speech recognition, which you can find using Google or here.

*Note: Languages support by speech recognition depend on the Microsoft Windows operating system configuration. View the Microsoft speech recognition guide here to view supported languages.

*Note: If you are a Windows 8.1 user and having trouble with changing to 3rd party voices, consult Steve's tutorial here

Voice Training

You may train your computer for speech recognition by using the training wizard. Find the training wizard under Speech Recognition within the Windows Control Panel.

Headset or External Mic

Using a headset or external mic will produce dramatically better results compared to the internal PC/Laptop mic. Using a headset or mic will enable the recognition engine to "hear" your voice much clearer with less background noise. The background noise of the laptop, motors, radio, and room echo will cause the recognition software to return False Positives. This means the software recognizes an incorrect phrase. An external mic will also prevent the recognition software from hearing the robot speak. In short, it is important to use a Mic Headset or external Mic for a positive Speech Recognition experience.


Like all controls in ARC, the configuration window can be accessed by pressing the gear icon. The configuration window is where you enter the phrases which will be recognized, and the command associated with each phrase. The EZ-Script tutorial explains how to edit and create commands. You will fine tutorials in the LEARN section of this website, which can be accessed by pressing the LEARN button from the top menu of this webpage. You may notice Low Confidence messages during detection. This is most likely due to the fact that you're not using a headset, as recommended in this manual page. However, if you wish to continue using the internal Mic on your PC/Laptop, the confidence can be adjusted to a lower value. Adjusting the confidence to a lower value will produce false positives.


ARC uses the Microsoft Speech Recognition included with Windows. All languages supported by Windows Speech Recognition are also supported in ARC. Configure Windows to listen to any language. ARC will default to EN-US (English) language, if installed. Otherwise, ARC will default to the first installed language. If more than one language is installed, a language may be selected with the dropdown in the Speech Recognition's configuration menu.



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#1   — Edited
All is good now, always did work, just windows going it's thing, oh well
Speech recognition uses the built-in microsoft speech recognition engine. There is nothing synthiam can do to enhance or change the engine, as it's not opensource and owned by Microsoft. Follow the instructions above
All is good now

just did the old windows reboot, now works