Speech Activated R2D2 (Voice Signal Technologies)

The Challenge: To develop, in collaboration with Hasbro, a speaker-independent speech interface to enable control of a fully mobile R2D2 robotic toy.

The final product utilizes the 8-bit speech library developed by Voice Signal Technologies running on an 8051-based microcontroller from Generalplus (then Sunplus). The vocabulary included 50 command phrases and a a complex command tree that was easily navigable and enabled the user to have the droid move, play audio, turn lights on and off, and a number of other complex play patterns.

Key challenges included:

  • collecting enough recorded audio data of the key phrases to build good data models for the vocabulary
  • designing the vocabulary to minimize perplexity or the confusion of phrases
  • finalizing the speech libraries to fit in the confined space of the microcontroller