Hack of the Whenever I Get Around to It

December 9, 2006

Robot controlled by tin whistle

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chris Merck @ 5:43 am

Tonight I managed to hack togeather something I had dreamed about for a long while: A robot’s motion is controlled by the notes played on a tin whistle, or by human whistling. This was accomplished in only a few hours of hacking by modifying a basic console guitar tuning app for linux called String (part of gString). The tuner normally picks out the loudest frequency and tells the user what note it is. I just changed it to instead send commands over a serial cable to a PIC microcontroller powered robot. The robot now can be driven around, accomplishing various tasks, simply by playing or whistling the right notes while in the same room. I will investigate the possibility of putting the frequency detector on the robot itself, rather than on the PC, however ordinarily this would require far more processing power than an 8-bit microcontroller has got.

You can watch the video on Google Video.


Here is the modified tuner for Linux. (and the original)
It can by compiled like so: gcc -Wall -O2 -lm -lrfftw -lfftw penny.c -o penny

Here is an executable compiled for Kubuntu Edgy.

And here is the guts of the C code for the actual robot.


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