This robot was built to take advantage of the
processing power of a Laptop or Desktop computer for higher level processing and an HC11 for the
lower level control of the robot. This robot features speech recognition
made possible by the laptop computer. The speech recognition was
demonstrated at the Missouri Area Robotics Society
meeting in May.
(A sad MAX in the corner)
LapMax has the following hardware/software:
on board HC11 controls the
speed (PWM) of the drive motors, keeps track of the encoder count and controls the sensors. Any other embedded processor could be used same purpose
like Basic Atom, Basic Stamp or OOPic. The HC11 is running the CORE
application. The CORE software provides a large library of standard
commands the lower level robot control routines.
Most of the PC control software is written in Microsoft Visual Basic version
6.0. The main screen allows for manual control of the robot, recorded
mission files and automatic communication with the robot. The CORE
provides automatic updates to the laptop on the current encoder count, compass
heading and sonar ranges.
When the robot does carry
a laptop on board, the MAX program is usually running. This program takes
advantage of the laptops Pentium 4 to provide a speech synthesizer and speech
recognition. The face changes expression as the robot wanders around the
room and spouts words of wisdom as various situations are encountered.
The MAX program also provides a log
option. The log will record various information as the robot wanders
around the room including sonar ranges, encoder count and compass heading.
This data could be used in conjunction with Neural Lab to provides an Artificial
Intelligence solution to various navigation problems.
The New Core features MAX BASIC scripting
for mission commands. The MAX BASIC interpreter allows complicated script
commands to be loaded in to the HC11 memory. The script can be executed
over and over again. The scripts can use standard basic commands like
GOSUB, RETURN, GOTO and IF THEN. The purpose of this script language is to
allow new mission commands to be loaded into the robot without reloading the
firmware which makes tweeking the robots behavior much quick. This script
language also allows the robot to be programmed without using 'C' or assembly
language, but Basic.