Saturday, December 03, 2005

Part I Completed: Infrared Codes Learned

It took the better part of a day, but I have successfully learned and tested the approximately 100 remote control commands, using the USB UIRT infrared transceiver I own. Having gone through every command the can execute, I can comfortably make a few observations.

Observation: Given that some of the V2 owners will be members of the amazingly dextrous Sony PSP (and similar consoles) gamer community, I do believe there are people out there that will master the huge number of movements the V2 can do, using only the remote control. Most people will master only a few and then be content to let him roam or interact with him using his sonic and vision sensor autonomous behaviors. Most of the advanced commands require complex combinations of the three shift buttons, which makes memorization of the command sequences something that requires a fair amount of persistent practice. For example, powering down the Robosapien V2 is accomplished by pressing SHIFT 1 + SHIFT 2 + SHIFT 3 + [STOP].

Observation: The Robosapien V2's impressive repertoire of movements, combined with his advanced sonic and vision recognition capabilities (when compared to other toy robots on the market), make him a highly sophisticated and fun modern toy robot. However, you must take the time to get to know him. Like the Robopet, the Robosapien V2's personality and capabilities take time to grasp and become fully acquainted with. The more you play with him, the more he grows on you.

This makes my excitement over adding support to Robosapien Dance Machine for the Robosapien V2 exponentially greater. With Robosapien Dance Machine I will be able to replace all that memorization with the voice control interface. More importantly, I'll be able to create scripts to chain the commands together in the manner I find entertaining, and then summon those scripts as needed with easy to remember phrases I create. In addition, users of Robosapien Dance Machine will be able to swap and share scripts so every time a new script is created, it expands the capabilities of all the Robosapien V2 owners that use the program.

With the infrared codes all memorized, I will spend tomorrow timing the moves to the nearest 1/4 of a second. This is necessary so that when scripts are built, which are an assemblage of individual commands, the script engine knows how long to wait before continuing on to the next command in the script. Another tedious job, but once it's done it's done for good and it's done for anyone else that uses Robosapien Dance Machine that owns a V2. Once the timing's are done, I can then make any necessary adjustments to the code to fully support the V2.

Stay tuned. It doesn't get fun until the video is made using Robosapien Dance Machine and the V2, but then it gets really fun.

Did you publish the IR codes anywere, I would certainly like to have it so I don't have to break out my own digital O-scope.
No and unfortunately I don't have them. I use a device called the USB UIRT ( It does the learning of the codes and I just store the code strings it returns . These codes are a proprietary format to the USB UIRT so I don't have anything that relates to the raw timings.
How are you going to handle the voice recognition?
Robosapien Dance Machine has had speech recognition for quite a while. It uses the open Sphinx 3.5 speech recognition engine. What's upcoming is support for the new WowWee robots like the Robosapien V2.

If you would like to chat about it, come by the forum:
I put them online:
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