This week in the studio, our team discussed any issues we were having and any questions we had relating to the final exhibit and portfolio. It was great to have these conversations on discord so that we could get used to having random people jump in and out of our channel. I'm having some trouble with connecting my video - it seems to freeze as soon as I turn it on so I need to figure out what's going on before the final exhibit.
Outside of class, I've been getting through the annotated portfolio whenever I have time. I have also been continuing to solder all the elements onto the board. I ended up having to include a level converter for my text-to-speech module and led strip as they both require 5V but the esp-32 only outputs 3.3V. This meant the circuit had to be a lot more complicated than initially expected, however, I have managed to finish all of this off and all that's left to connect is the vibrating mini-motor. This will also be a bit complicated as I need to add a transistor. After I connected the level converter and speech module, I also connected the speaker to the module.
This meant that I could actually implement the text-to-speech functionality which was super exciting!! I ended up finishing all this at about 1am so I just had Emily say "Hi there my name is Emily. How are you Lucy?" and then play the built-in song "Daisy".
Even though this was very basic it was very exciting to see it all come together! Now I just need to get it integrated with the other features (light and screen) so that she says the right things according to the state she's in. I also just used the default "male" voice, so I need to change this to more of a "female" voice. Even though the module does have a built-in amplifier, the sound is quite quiet, so I may play around with another amplifier or look into the module settings to see if volume is defined anywhere.
I'm really excited to get the text-to-speech functionality fully working as I think the current methods of negative reinforcement are quite boring and aren't as interactive as I would like. I think adding this functionality will really bring Emily to life and create an interesting interaction with Emily.
Work to do
I need to finish up the soldering by adding the vibrating mini-motor and transistor, and then continue working on the code. I also need to continue working on the annotated portfolio whenever I can as I don't want it to be a rushed last-minute thing. I want to try to fix my discord settings to resolve the camera freezing issue hopefully before class next week so I can test it with a larger group of people if we end up on discord again.