Let's Make Robots!

Soap opera detection

Hello people.

I really need a robot, that'll detect when my wife's watching a soap opera on the tv, then drive into the room and change the channel to something more interesting, like Top Gear.

Any thoughs, let me know.


The Bromz.

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You need a robot to detect when your wife is watching a soap opera on the TV, to alert you that now would be a pretty good time to work on making a robot.

... your robot could always start channel surfing until she does.

But we agree: we all need better soap detectors.

Best ... Show ... Ever.

You saw the Bugatti Veyron vs the Fighter jet? Or Michael S as the Stig?

Yeah, I've seen them. I think the polar challenge is amazing too.

Too funny!  Your robot needs to make taunting sound whenever it jams the TV, and if anyone tries to grab it, it should scoot away, screaming like a banshee.

She might come looking for revenge though..

Well, I think that it is possible to do. 

You have here a movie showing a arduino that records the command sent by a TV remote and then sends it to the TV http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8K6Xq6fOR48. It is really well explained here http://lusorobotica.com/index.php?topic=1726.msg16629#msg16629, but it is in Portuguese, so you might need to use the google translator or to try to find other tutorials.

You can have your robot near your TV reading the commands sent by the remote and if they correspond to a soap opera channel you can program it to change to the channel you want. :D


I would've set this as a challenge, but the rules state don't set a challenge of something you can't do yourself and this is way too advanced for me.

However, if someone does make something like this, can I borrow it on a Wednesday night?

If you wanted it done right this would be very difficult to implement. For a start, singling out a soap opera from other shows and ads would need a PC based program checking an internet TV guide for a "drama" tag. There is no magic signal/sound/flashing light that tells people what they`re watching is a soap.

2nd, getting a robot to keep track of what channel the TV is showing would be just as difficult. Remotes are only 1 way communicators, they don`t get any feedback from the TV so the only outside indicator of what channel a TV moves to is the number in the corner of the screen.

It`s a cool pie-in-the-sky idea though :) But I find top gear just as bad as most soaps.

Setting aside the ridiculous comparison between top gear and soaps, if you use MythTV, then your computer knows when there is a soap on. Then you can wirelessly command the robot to go harass your wife in whatever way you see fit. Of course, you could just accidentally "forget" to record the soap, and since you use MythTV, there is no way for anyone to watch TV without Myth (as I have been trying to explain to my in-laws for 5 years or so now.)

I've never used Myth TV. I did build a media centre PC about a year back. It's running Windows 7, so has Windows Media Centre built in. I thought this would be a great device to record all my Top Gear, for future enjoyment.

However, all it's ended up doing is recording every soap, since my wife found the series record option.