very unique features we have not seen on any other
robot!” Huff asserted.
Ultimately, Huff would like to see versions of a fully
formed, full bodied ALAN programmed and equipped as a
helper robot for the elderly; a household companion; a
robot performing social tasks and duties such as reading to
and conversing with you; doing Internet searches; providing
directions and guidance; and doing other simple daily jobs.
A Science to ALAN
OTS (off-the-shelf) components make it possible to
share ALAN with a wide field of builders, academics, robot
enthusiasts, and others. “We started our development
around EZB by EZ-Robots for the microprocessor and the
camera,” said Huff.
“Through cloud sharing, EZ-Robots enables users to
upload their ALAN projects and share them with other
users. This allows users to get up to speed running their
ALAN-based projects quickly,” commented Huff.
The EZ-Robot camera provides ALAN with visual
processing of objects and faces for recognition. “Third-party
software like EZ-AI — which is designed to work with EZ-Builder (the EZB software) and Roborealm software — will
process the camera data and create databases for uses such
as facial recognition recall,” explained Huff. This way, ALAN
can remember you and know you, associating you with
other personal data. “The Roborealm software extends the
vision processing capabilities to include shape matching,
pupil detection, and object counting,” explained Huff.
ALAN also has mechanisms for jaw motion and voice
sync activation that a third-party board called the audio
servo controller can assist with. “When the incoming audio
signal is processed, that signal is translated into servo
positions, and we found that we had the most control with
the sensitivity through adjusting the onboard
potentiometers,” Huff revealed.
ALAN achieves speech synthesis, the ability to hear, and
respond using Windows environment components that EZ-Builder calls on. This is really computer-generated simulation
of speech. “Windows compatible SAPIS voices are available
for purchase online, so you can change ALAN’s voice,” said
Huff. Further, the speech recognition enables you to give
ALAN voice commands that it can carry out.
You can upgrade ALAN’s face with new skins through
a magnetic modular system and subskull, which is the area
beneath the silicone skin. This enables users to change both
genders and faces.
The only requirement for ALAN is a computer or tablet
running Windows, if you build your ALAN around the EZB
technology mentioned here.
ALAN represents just the beginning of Huff’s vision for
robot enthusiasts interested in androids, and ALAN’s
development is only limited by your imagination. This is a
unique platform to interact with and learn about robotics.
You can experience emerging technologies such as
ChatBots and AI on a personal level.
Simply put, you can truly get ahead in robotics. SV
12 SERVO 11.2015
Get a Head in Robotics
Internet movie database link
to work done by William Huff
With the EZ-Builder EZB microprocessor — which
includes Wi-Fi — you can connect to ALAN and the
Internet at the same time. “This is interesting because
you have all the capabilities of ALAN, plus the added
ability to access external links like ChatBots, web
queries, and directions,” said Huff.
ChatBots are programs that run on the Internet and
appear as if you are conversing with a real person.
ALAN can take on these personalities by typing in the ID
number of the ChatBot you’d like to use in EZ-Builder.
There are many such ChatBots, including those from
Pandorabots.com. “You can also design your own
personality with questions and answers from scratch
using a program like Program O, which is designed to
create ChatBots or to modify existing ones. EZ-AI also
comes with a local ChatBot that you can customize,”
ALAN components without color, disassembled.