An animatronic head, with eyes that move left/right and up/down, head
moves left/right and up/down, and the jaw opens/closes. Five servo motors
total, using RC hobby type servos. Control it with radio control, computer,
or embedded microcontroller such as the BASIC Stamp. If you are using
a Mini SSC II servo controller board, there is a space to mount it on
the back of Maxwell's neck.
Recommend using Mini SSC II serial servo control board to connect Maxwell to your PC, Mac, or embedded computer such as BASIC Stamp. The servos are powerful, and moving the head quickly requires several amps of peak current. Therefore, high capacity C or D size NiCad rechargeable batteries or a 2A regulated power supply are necessary to power the head.
The eyeball LED's use servo connectors for power, so they plug into the servo controller board. .
Gives Maxwell a voice. The RoboSpeak combines a speech synthesizer with control of the jaw servo of the Maxwell head, so the Maxwell jaw moves with the computer speech. There are also computer animated lips on the PC screen to visualize the lip synch, so you can try the software without the Maxwell head to see the effect of combining computer speech with on the fly lip synchronization.
The program was written in Visual Basic 6.0, and is a free download. If you are interested in the technical details, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The program combines speech synthesis, using the Microsoft Speech API, together
with motion control commands out the serial COM port to a Mini SSC II servo
control board. I am offering it as a free download, and invite your comments
RoboSpeak V1.2 download File size: 2.0 MB Cost: Free!
Project and source code, in Visual BASIC 6.0 CombTest1_src.zip download File size: 20 kB
Program requires Windows 98, 2000, or XP. Also requires sound card such as Creative Labs' Soundblaster 16. Need 3 MB of hard disk space. and at least 32 MB of RAM.
Download ZIP file, and UnZip using your favorite UnZip utility.
Run Setup.exe to install the RoboSpeak software.