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How open source can help you build a voice-activated robotic arm

Oct 13, 2011, 19:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Rowan Puttergill)


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"Amarra initially purchased the robotic arm as a gadget to play with and admits that the machine is not particularly useful in itself since it is only capable of lifting objects that weigh in at about 100 grams.

"Typically, the arm is controlled by issuing a series of commands to it via its USB interface. While the device comes with its own software, some months back, a hardware hacker known as notbrainsurgery reverse engineered the USB protocol that the robotic arm uses.

"This opened up a whole world to other hackers who were interested in creating their own uses for the device. When Amarra broke his wrist, he realised that it would be more convenient if he could control the robotic arm by training it to respond to voice commands.

"He jokes that he wished that it could help him wash the dishes, but the arm is not really that capable, even with voice-recognition in place."

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