Let's Make Robots!

Complete Newbie - College Project - audio question

Hello all,

I am completely new to robots and it seems like it's gonna be a lot of fun.  I am in a college class right now with a project of designing a robot.  Here is what I know:  We are using parallax microcontroller (I think... Board of Education Rev C), and I have gotten familar with the basic terminollogy.  My team plans on making a simple bot like the start here version, except bigger, with tracks, a nice cover, and some lights.  However, we really want to incorporate some audio clips and music...

My question is this:  I have now seen some SD card readers that allow you to play music, is this possible to do on a Parallax controller?  If so, please post a link of one I could use.  The cheaper the better in this case as we are required to be on a budget.  Other than an SD card, are there any other options to do this?

I will post updates once we get rolling on the project... we have a pretty good crew, so I have high expectations!


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First and foremost, I would go with a propeller chip over the BS2. Yes, SD card is going to be your most viable option here. If you do go with the propeller and SD card set-up, you will have yourself a full-on WAV player. You can make any kind of beep or bonk, do text to speech and play any WAV file you want. I am a huge fan of this guy http://gadgetgangster.com/find-a-project/56?projectnum=257

...and I should give myself a plug as well, I designed this guy --  http://gadgetgangster.com/find-a-project/56?projectnum=376 which not only has all the components you will need to produce your audio, but it has all the other stuff you will need for your robot: Motor driver, ADC's, servo connections, etc. It even has video out.

Yup, my vote is propeller.

Not very fussy and the sound quality is quite good. You'll need some sort of amp for it though.

I think I bought the last one but MDfly often has some of their products listed on eBay. In case there were people interested but were slow to react...


Similar pricing for US buyers. Just an FYI.

Sorry guys, I wasn't completely clear on my question.  We are given the Rev C model to use along with the other basic mechanical parts.  We only have a $40 budget, so unfortunately we don't have the money to upgrade to another chip like the propeller, otherwise I would.  So could we use this, SD Card MP3 Player Module RS232-TTL, with our Rev C thing?  As a complete newbie on the programming, is this a smart pursuit?  Oh, and you guys probably already know this now, but we will be using Parallax Basic Stamp editor.

Thanks again.

I´ve never used a parralax board, so I can´t say if it is difficult or not setting up a serial connection. It should be configured as 4800,N,8,1. I´m sure other people here can tell more about it.

for the rest, hooking it up is simple as the pdf file describes. (don't be scared of all those pins on the module. you dont have to connect them all ;-) Then format an sd card and put the mp3 files on it, change names as 001.mp3, 002.mp3 etc. hexadecimal.

You had not mentioned that you had a serial-based MP3 player. Yes, the SD Card MP3 Player Module RS232-TTL will work fine with basically any microcontroller. You will talk to it using serial commands and there will be various "codes" or "commands" you will send to it to tell it to play a track, skip ahead, etc. If you have the MP3 module, and a robot brain of any kind, you should be all set. Start reading the manual for code that deals with "serial communication" or "UART serial".

Thought I would update this post...

We are currently starting to get stuff wired together and we have an sd card reader ordered, should get it Monday.  We ran into a programming error though for our motors/servo and ping sensor.  I posted the code in a forum under programming: http://letsmakerobots.com/node/29866