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Please note this feature is no longer available. These pages are retained for reference only.

IOServe >> Brainiac


Please note this feature is no longer available. These pages are retained for reference only.


Brainiac is a feature (not currently in development) that offers interactivity through talking with the robot. Brainiac combines (and requires) speech recognition, text to speech, Kinect, microphone and preferably an internet connection (for looking up facts and figures and other data) to function. For Brainiac the Kinect is used to allow RoboThespian to focus on and follow the person he is talking to with his eyes and head.

Using Brainiac

Start brainiac

On the AUTO screen (KINECT screen in some software versions) press 'Restart Brainiac' - you should see a message confirming it has restarted okay.

400x320 - restart brainiac 1.jpg 400x320 - restart brainiac 2.jpg

Switch on microphone

Switch on the wireless microphone by holding the on/off button until the LED turns green.

400x320 - brainiac microphone 1.jpg 400x320 - brainiac microphone 2.jpg

If the LED shows red, or does not come on at all, unscrew the bottom of the mic to access the battery.

Talking to RoboThespian

When talking to RoboThespian, talk clearly and loudly at a normal speed and hold the microphone near to your mouth.

Kinect mic3.jpg

RoboThespian's cheeks are used to indicate if he is listening. When his cheeks are blue he is listening. Begin by saying "Hello Reginald" (or "Hello" depending on your system version) to him.

400x320 - brainiac listening.jpg 400x320 - brainiac not-listening.jpg

As there is typically a lot of background noise, mute the microphone when not saying something. Muting the microphone stops RoboThespian from hearing any unwanted background noise or background speech.

To mute the microphone briefly press the button on the microphone - the LED will turn orange to indicate the mic is muted.

When you want to say something again to RoboThespian press the button on the microphone briefly again to un-mute the microphone. The LED will turn green.

400x320 - brainiac microphone muted.jpg 400x320 - brainiac microphone active.jpg

Here we can see what RoboThespian thinks he has heard...

640x480 - kinect what RoboThespian heard.jpg

A typical conversation

Say "Hello Reginald" (or "Hello" depending on your system version) to RoboThespian. (Reginald is a very unique name that allows RoboThespian to more easily identify that you are speaking to him)

He should ask you your name... (his cheeks will be red while he is talking and not listening).

Tell him your name, just the name e.g. "David", "Will", "Peter", do not say "my name is..." - he might make a comment about it.

He may offer to do some film impressions.

Ask him to "play Terminator" or "play Singing in the Rain" or any other impression from him library. (Check his cheek colour - he is only listening when they are blue). To stop an impression part way through, say "stop"

RoboThespian has a small but growing vocabulary:

Ask him to do some maths, say "do sums" and then ask a simple maths question, like "what's 2 plus 2?". Normally he will get bored after a few maths questions.

Through his internet connection he can query (look up) some words in various online encyclopaedias - for example try asking him "What is a car?".

RoboThespian can copy what you say, using the words he has in his vocabulary. Depending on the system version either say "Repeat after me" to start copy mode. Or simply tell him what to say with "Say <what you want him to say>" e.g. "Say robot terminator" or "Say Peter Piper picked a pickled pepper".

Certain poses can be triggered using Brainiac. Currently try:

  • "Flex Muscles"
  • "Open Hands"
  • "Point left"
  • "Point right"

We are continuing to develop this feature and can teach RoboThespian to respond in different ways to different questions / names / keywords etc. If you have any special requests please let us know.