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Alexa is a revolutionary new human machine interface. Our team was inspired to develop a new assistive living technology that took advantage of this amazing new interface to enhance the quality of life for disabled people and as way of enhancing human capability.

What it does

Voice frees human hands! Voice can instruct the mobile robot arm to pass, drag and operate anything, when people's hands are not available.

How we built it

Amazon Echo --> Amazon Alexa --> AWS lambda --> Verizon ThingSpace <--> Raspberry Pi <--> Mobile Robot Arm

Challenges we ran into

  • Open-loop control of the robot arm
  • IoT sync latency
  • Background noise is a challenge in any voice based application.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • We were able to produce an end-to-end working demonstration of our prototype.
  • There are many components to integrate and ensure reliability as a complex working system in very limited time.
  • We were able to find work around solutions to challenges and barriers experienced.

What we learned

  • It's always a good idea to get 3rd party feedback on your architecture.
  • Especially for prototyping purposes, stick with mature technology and methodologies (eg: consumer-producer data model).

What's next for Voice Controlled Mobile Arm

  • Integrate various sensors to facilitate closed loop feedback control thus allowing completion of more complex tasks.
  • Integrate best in class IoT secure communication protocols and practices.
  • Transition from a proof of concept prototype to a manufacturable consumer product.
  • Perform pilot studies with human users to further the user experience and develop new cases.

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