Let's Make Robots!

Battle tank - with Voice Control

remote control, sound effect, shooting with laser and IR, detect IR, control electronic applicants

Before going on developing the Home Explorer, I have to make a battle tank with shooting capability for my son...because I promised him several months ago. The battle tanks are remote controlled and made to shoot each other by laser or infrared. It has these features:

- remote control

- moving in eight directions, 2 speed

- rotating canon tower

- laser gun, to shoot a target

- IR gun, to shoot a target, or turn on some electronics applicants

- IR detector, when it is shot by another tank or by a TV remote control, the tank will be frozen for several seconds

- Sound effect

- Voice control, see the third movie

This is not an innovative project. But it is quite a challenge to put it together in a small tank with one MCU (atmega88):





Voice Control

I make use of the CMU Sphinx http://cmusphinx.sourceforge.net/html/cmusphinx.php to make the voice control part.

Sphinx is a powerful speaker-independent continuous speech recognition engine. It is open source and come with very rich features. I use Sphinx, not only it is open source, but also it has pocket version that is tuned for handheld / mobile devices. In the near future we shall be able to use mobile devices to control our robot at a reasonable cost. A pocket version means that your robot will listen to your commands, without going through the PC.

Comparing with Microsoft technology, it is relative difficult to make it work initially. There are a large number of development tools created for R&D purpose. It is not very handy to make a simple command oriented robot control program.

Since I don't have a handheld device, I use Sphinx 3 on my PC in this project. Together with a wireless mic, I shall be a ble to control any robots at home with my PC as the speech recognition engine.

mic => PC => Sphinx 3 => robot control program => RF module => robot

In the future, it will be:

mic => pocketsphinx on the robot


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It is about 3" x 7", 2" tall (exclude wheels and tracks). I made it too small and I suggest a bigger dimension. 

It is quite interesting to play with a tank..go ahead !

I wish my dad made me cool toys. Great work! Also could you give me a clue about the chase material.

It is aluminium material for window frame. Here is the tank base information.
i am sooo interested in IR comunication! Let me ask you, is the tank "hit" only when it receives a modulated IR signal or are you using some kind of protocols?

There are several possible ways to implement a specific protocol. The most resource demanding one, I believe, will be decoding the TV remote control signal.  I did a small study and implementation before, the commands are in 48 bit long. Decoding it may use a lot of resource on the MCU, if not additional hardware is used.

Theorectically I think I can modulate the USART signal at 38kHz. The demodulation side can feed the signal directly to the USART RXD. But I have not tried this yet. 

In this robot, as I decide to use one MCU, and the USART RXD is already used by the RF module, the IR signal is not specific. It means that when I fried the IR gun. I have to turn off the IR receiver interrupts. Otherwise it will kill itself immediately.