Let’s try a speech recognition demo

The motto “Free your hands to master the world around you” printed on the manual implies that mastering something should not require hands — except maybe for slapping the stupid, lazy servant —, so let’s see what this kit can do for us.

Head over to this documentation page of the kit (the link printed on my wrapper and manual is obsolete) where you will find detailed information. I tried the first example: switching my TV on and off by voice. This example involves three steps, meaning that three Arduino sketches are required:
  1. Learning the TV’s IR On/Off command
  2. Testing the TV’s IR On/Off command
  3. Add voice control
Grove IR capture
The output of step 1 is needed in steps 2 & 3.

The third step is slightly difficult because the link to the wiki page of the speech recognition module is incorrect, but you can find it in the menu on the left under Grove -> Sensor. Scrolling through the list gives you a feel of how many Grove modules are available.

Nuvoton ISD9160 Chipcorder

The speech recognition module is a stand-alone module based on the Nuvoton ISD9160 Chipcorder SoC. It comes with 22 pre-learned commands related to home automation. Changing them is possible, but requires a complete compiler toolchain (probably out of reach of most people), so let's limit ourselves here to the predefined commands.

Once powered on you must say “Hicell” (one word) to wake the module up. If it did a red LED comes on indicating that the module is now waiting for a command. You have about five seconds to pronounce a command. If your command is recognized, a blue LED will briefly light up and the number of the command is transmitted on its serial port. This is all pretty straightforward and easy to interface with.
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