Let's Make Robots!

RoboVoice speech synthesizer

I just got my lastest Servo Magazine (electronic subscription) and I saw a new speech chip for a nice rethro style robot voice. This new chip, RoboVoice, is like a brother to the SpeakJet, but with a built in text to phonemes converter (800 rules database). It costs $24.99 but for the Servo readers there is a discount for the month of November so you can get it at $16.99 from SpeechChips.com: http://www.speechchips.com/shop/item.aspx?itemid=22

The chip is a PIC running at 16MHz with a built in DAC (no external filter required) and 16MHz clock so there is no need for an external crystal so you just need to add a few resistors and caps and of course a small amplifier, just like you would do with a SpeakJet chip. To connect it to the microcontroller of your choice, you need a Ground, a Serial Out and a Bussy signal. You may opt out for the Bussy signal that gets High when the chip is speaking so you know not to send more text until it is done (you can use this pin for a LED). The chip is 3.3V but 5V input tolerant, still you may want to add a resistor divider at the serial input pin just to be safe. All this and more is covered in the Servo magazine. If you can't afford the magazine and want to read the article, I can give you a copy of the article, just let me know. They cover the schematic and the code for Basic Stamp 2, Picaxe, Arduino Uno. Also, the link to the webstore has some videos that demonstrate the chip functionality.

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A while back I mentioned the old "S.A.M." software and suggested we need to make it into a free library for Arduino. Some of the nay sayers said the processor was not powerful enough despite the fact it use to run on old Atari and Commodore 64's.

Now someone has done it for a pic chip and we will have to pay money for it. I still think we need to re-code / port the software for an ATmega processor and make it a free library for Arduino.

I know, OddBot. I know... Unfortunately I am not a programmer and I don't have the time to do it. A few years back I messed arround and translated a C coded speech sythesizer into a crude Arduino library with the author's permission. Perhaps a real programmer can take a look at it and at your Atari code and make it better?

You can download the original code from here and the translated code as a Arduino library from here (rename it TTS.zip).

I'll do it if you do, JAX!