2011 finalists & winners > 17+ years > The Beast
Western Springs college
The Beast is a voice activated and controlled car that incorporates a range of different sensors and technologies.
"I’ve been interested in robotics for a while, and after building a robot arm I got the idea of making it voice activated. Then I decided that it would be cool to make a remote controlled car that you could control with your voice. I found an IC that could make this possible, and went from there.
I really enjoyed the physics and construction side of it. After building the speech recognition circuit, I had to build an interface, which was fun. I tried several ways to do this and found an interface that would work, but needed some changes so that I could get maximum control. I also enjoyed designing the basic receiver for making it wireless, which I am yet to build – this would allow me to use the band that walkie talkies run on, which means I wouldn’t have to follow it.
The hardest part was getting the whole thing to work together. The speech recognition circuit seemed to have a mind of its own – I spent hours working on it only to discover that was a faulty part! I had to get a new part and modify the circuit so it could take it.
In my spare time I like working on my Bright Sparks project. I have a real interest in electronics and how things work. What I am learning in physics and calculus at school relates to this. I’ve been a Bright Sparks member for about 5 years, since I built a robot arm in the past.
My biggest inspiration is John Britten – the motorbikes he built from scratch in his backyard were better than the factory superbikes being built overseas."