Mix Command Modes

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Mix Basic Commands and Voice Activated Scripts

This last tip is a gem.  It will help you to complete the illusion of your robot having extreme intelligence and personality. One of the extra cool features of Robosapien Dance Machine is the ability to seamlessly switch between Basic Commands and Voice Activated Scripts.

The current Robosapien robot version, the V1, does not have vision, infrared, or sonar sensors.  In other words, he’s blind and deaf.  This is why can’t wait for the Robosapien V2 robot and we hope to high heaven that Mark Tilden will let us read those sensors from a PC.  (Feel free to e-mail WowWee Toys about this and demand it repeatedly!)

This creates a problem when you are trying to get him to pick something up, or whack another robot upside the head; you have to line him up for the attack.  Nothing will shatter your illusion of robot intelligence faster then suddenly giving him specific commands to line him up.

One minute you’re saying cool things like “What do you think of rock and roll?” and the next you are tediously barking out “turn left” and  “turn right” commands.  So what’s the solution?

Create short scripts that execute one simple Basic Command and trigger them with conversational voice commands.  It breaks down like this:

  • Create a “single command” script that turns your robot left. Make the voice command for this script “What are you doing
  • Create another “single command” script that turns your robot right. Make the voice command for this script “Be nice Robo
  • Create one last script that executes a series of attacks.  Make the voice command for this script “Bad Robot, bad!”

How does this all work?  Here’s a concrete example:

Sample Dialogue

You say this

He does this

“Say hello to Doggy Bot

This triggers a script that makes your robot walk over to the Doggy Bot.

“What are you doing

[He needs to turn left to smack Doggy Bot.]  This makes him turn left.

“Be nice Robo!!”

[He needs to turn right to smack Doggy Bot.]  This makes him turn right.

“Bad robot, bad

This triggers a script that makes him start beating up Doggy Bot.

The underlying trick here is to wait for your robot to get near Doggy Bot. Then say either “What are you doing?” or “Be nice Robo!” to line him up with Doggy Bot’s head for the smackdown; depending on his position relative to Doggy Bot.

As you can see this is also another example of the technique of having the script’s actions disagree or be in conflict with what you are saying ( the voice commands). The illusion is you are trying to stop your Robosapien from pimp slapping Doggy Bot, but in reality the voice commands are driving him forward, lining him up for the attack, and telling him to start whaling away on Doggy Bot!

NOTE: There is nothing stopping you from having more than one script, each with a different voice command, that turns your robot left or right. That kind of variety only enhances the illusion.

Click here to read the conclusion to this mini-article


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