In social context humans communicate using natural language and from years engineers apply this sensing capability to robots. Using words to communicate with a robot is part of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI). It is expected to use natural communications in different fields where robots are in charge with tasks including industry or service.
Based on combinations of lexical words, the communication using speech is a form of communication implemented in robotics especially for advanced robots, which use senses to understand and feel the environment. From advanced humanoid robots and to a wheel-based robot, we can use words to control the robot or to transmit specifications. Most advanced vocal recognition kits offer support to recognize words in different languages. Even we speak in English or Japanese, the robot has to complete the task in the same manner when using appropriate words.
If we add all the words in all the languages of earth is easy to figure out with what a robot may face, or better said, how complex can become a voice recognition system. Advanced robot uses different systems to track and locate the user. Using cameras and microphones, the robot can recognize and respond to user commands.
One major problem that was solved by engineers during the development of speech recognition kits was to eliminate the noise. Without eliminating the noise a robot could understand or not what we try to transmit using words. Try to realize what a robot understands when we say a command and the TV is near us.
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Speech Recognition Kits
In this article, I made a list with four speech recognition kits which can be used in robotics projects with low complexity to a high degree of complexity.
01. Tigal EasyVR Shield | Around €34 EUR(~$45 USD)
Tigal EasyVR is an Arduino compatible shield used in applications that require voice recognition. The idea behind this shield is to decrease in complexity the connection between Arduino and PC. The kit can be used in robotics for voice control application and can store up to 32 commands. In total, the kit has support for up to nine minutes of recorded audio or speech.
02. VRbot Voice Recognition Module | Around €37 EUR (~$50 USD)
VRbot is a module designed to be used in the world of robots that respond to vocal commands. The kit was used in the ROBONOVA-I and ROBOZAK robotic projects, but it can be used almost in any project for vocal commands in different languages. Connected with the robotic platform, the kit requires a low – power processor.
The user can add up to 32 commands to control the robot.
03. SR-06 Speech Recognition Kit | Around €67 EUR (~$90 USD)
SR-06 is a complete recognition kit for speech with user-friendly interface for external circuits and appliances. Using SR-06 is the simplest way to control a robot using words. It has a programmable circuit with a memory for up to 40 words in any languages. The user has to insert first in the memory of kit the words that the robot will respond. The kit works simple. When the user says one word, the circuit compares the word with his list of words and the output is a digital number that is attached to that word.
04. Voice Recognition Tigal SmartVR + DK-T2SI Kit | Around €300 EUR (~$400 USD)
SmartVR + DK-T2SIis (is no longer available) – the most powerful voice recognition kit designed to integrate the hardware and software in an easy way and build one of the most advanced voice recognition robotic project. The platform includes the Sensory’s Quick T2SI software used to develop speaker independent vocabulary in many languages including English, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, and the list goes on.
The kit has two types of audio output including the modulation type PWM or digital type DAC. For storage can be used three types of memory: SD, SDHC, or MMC.