Week Seventeen

Applications and Implications

  • Propose a final project masterpiece that integrates the range of units covered.
  • What will I do?

    I am a great fan of personal assist devices like Google Home and Alexa and I wanted to make one myself. There are many API's avaialable for making these devices. SO I'll be using one of this API to make my own Google home variant with some cool features integrated to it to make it into some kind of a smart speaker.

    Whose done what before hand

    I went through the Archive to see projects like mine but I havent seen something similar to it. But still there are some cool Boomboxes and Speakers made by some students in fablab before.So I could use some of their ideas for making the parts of my speaker .Some projects similar to this are as follows.Dan chen,Eleanor,Akash Badshah

    What will you design

    I have some electronic as well as 3D designing to do for this project.3D designing maniny includes designing the speaker body/case to include all the electronic and speaker components and this part decides the overall outlook of the product.Now coming into the electronic designing I have to the design a board to control the servos and Led ligthing in the speaker and an amplifier for the speaker unit itself. I'll be using a rasberry pi for all the audio processing functions. If I get enough time I'll also include a rechargable circuit to make the entire sysytem wireless.

    What materials and components will be used? || Where will come from? || How much will they cost?

    Most of the components will be coming from the fab lab or recycled items but still there are some components that we have no choice but to buy from outside.

    Components & Parts Source Price (₹)
    Rasberry Pi Zero w thingbits.net 14$
    Servo Motor Fab Inventory 0
    Speaker Scavanged from old speaker parts 0
    4mm Plywood Fab Inventory 0
    6mm clear acryllic Fab Inventory 0
    4mm clear acryllic Fab Inventory 0
    Resistors and capacitors Fab Inventory 0
    Audio amplifier Fab Inventory 0
    Neo pixel Ring thingbits.net 10.99$
    Mini USB Mic thingbits.net 8.99$
    What parts and systems will be made?

    The parts that will be entirely made by me is the motor and LED control unit,LED charlie plexing ring,Audio filter for the Raspberry pie,Laser cut parts for light diffuser ring,Laser cut kerf parts on plwood on the outer layer and 3D printed case and other parts.The Audio amplifier IC available in our inventory has only a 1 Watts output which is very much lower than what I need. So I'll be adding a amplifier module or if i get the right IC I'll make one myself.

    If I get enough time to complete all the works in time I'll also include a rechargeble circuit to this hopefully :)

    What processes will be used?
  • 3D Modelling: For making the Speaker shell and components housing.
  • PCB Designing: For making the servo and LED control board, Audio filter and Audio amplifier
  • PCB Production: For making all the above boards
  • Laser Cutting:For making then light diffusser unit and the external kerf structure
  • Sand Blasting: For making the Diffuser sheet from the clear acryllic sheets.
  • Vinyl Cutting: For decorating the product and making the stencils for spray painting
  • 3D Printing: For making the outer shell of the product
  • What Questions need to be answered
  • How to effectively process the audio real time ?
  • Ans:Use a raspberry pi board which has an amazing processing capacity and can handle different input data through HDMI pots, USB ports, Lan ports and Different other input output pins. Raspberry pi being a mini computer with inbuilt wifi amd bluetooth modules itself can be highly efficient for real time data processing

  • How to effectively communicate between the Rasberry pi boards and my custom made boards.
  • Ans:The raspberry pi zero works on a 3.5 v logic and my custom boards works on a 5 v logic so there could be some problems while they communicate each other. I still have to figure out how to work around this. First I'll make the boards and check if they communicate properly.

  • How to add audio output to Pi-Zero and to filter it.
  • Ans:Pi - Zero doesn't have a inbuilt audio output so I'll have to figure out some way to take the audio output to my speakers. Audio can be extracted from pizero through GPIO pins but they tends to be a bit noicy. SO i'll be making a simple audio filter circuit to filter and exract audio from this GPIO pins and gives the audio output through standard 3.5mm audio jack.

    How will it be evaluated

    What I am trying to make is a simple Assistant that anyone could make.In the present world there is a huge scope for AI based projects like this and immense research is going on tin this field. What I would like to do is to make something that integrates with some of this ideas and to make a better version of this using the skills that I've acquired through different Assigments here.This couldn't be anywhere closer to google home amazon alexa this is my attempt to make a simple voice based assistance system.