Talking Lego Robots

Talking Lego Robots

In 2002 and 2004, Geert-Jan Kruijff and I supervised student teams who built talking robots from Lego Mindstorms. These were robots built from ordinary Lego bricks which were connected to a dialogue system and speech recognition and synthesis software on a PC. They worked really well, and were covered by various newspapers and on radio and TV.

My primary contribution to the project was the integration of the dialogue system, speech software, and robot control programs. I can't make the software publically available here because it's badly documented and the speech and dialogue software we used are proprietary systems, but I mean to go back and replace these by open-source components once I have the time. In the meantime, you can have a look at the final projects from 2002 and 2004.

In addition, CLT Sprachtechnologie has released the DialogOS system, which is a dialogue system with built-in speech recognition and synthesis engines, and which will connect to Lego Mindstorms NXT robots. DialogOS is a newer version of the dialogue system we used in the talking robots project, and is a really nice package that contains everything you need to create a talking robot (except for a Mindstorms box). It's not free, but for what it does it's not particularly expensive, and there are educational discounts; so you should definitely go check it out.