Sorting resistors with speech recognition

If you’ve ever had to organize a bunch of resistors, you’ll know why [Anthony] created EESpeak. It’s a voice-controlled component look up tool that calculates a component value by listening to you read out color code bands.

In his demo video of EESpeak, [Anthony] reads off the color bands of several resistors whilst the program dutifully calculates and displays the value. [Anthony] also included support for calculating the value of capacitors and inductors by speaking the color bands, as well as EIA-96 codes for SMD parts.

In addition to taking speech input and flashing a component value on the screen, EESpeak also has a text-to-speech function that will tell you what a component without ever having to look at your monitor.

Even though the text-to-speech function seems a little cumbersome – it takes much longer for a computer to speak a value than to display it on the screen – using voice recognition to calculate component values is an awesome idea. With an extremely limited vocabulary the computer has to understand, the error rate of EESpeak is probably very low.

You can check out [Anthony]‘s demo video after the break, and of course download the app on his blog.


  1. Destate9 says:

    That’s pretty cool! That’ll be very useful when I sort my misc. pile of resistors. Might save me some time

  2. Felix says:

    totes amazeballs. make this into a trashy mac ‘app’ please

  3. The Cageybee says:

    I can never tell what colour the bands are due to a form of shade blindness.
    Only has two implications in life:
    1) Reading the numbers amongst the coloured dots in the books at the opticians;
    2) Reading resistor bands.
    For this reason I have to use a multimeter to do it.
    Damn you people with full colour vision. Damn you’re eyes!

    • Jarrod says:

      A buddy of mine has the same issue. He has a hard time terminating CAT5 cables.

    • garym53 says:

      You me, and up to 8% of the male population. When I saw this I thought “oh – something to read the colour bands on resistors – interesting”. When I realised you had to read them yourself I was going to write an “epic fail – at least for 8% of the male population” but you beat me to it.

      It wouldn’t be so bad if they would avoid using these strange “off” colours – if the colour band tolerance matched the resistor tolerance I doubt we would have much of a problem.

      And if they avoided using 2 out of the following 3 colours – red brown green – the problem would drop to 1% of the population.

  4. Brett says:

    My first thought was, “Why would you want resistors with speech recognition?”

    “Resistor! 470 Ohms immediately!”

  5. macegr says:

    This has some pretty neat applications if you start thinking along this path. Kind of like a helper at your bench.

    Imagine voice guided prototype assembly. You feed it a list of component names and values. Maybe even board coordinates too, why not. Then you shout out “R23!” and it says “0805 47k”. Or you could say “Next component” and it would say “C12, 0603 0.1uF” and work around the PCB sector by sector.

    Another application…pinouts. You’re making a prototype on a breadboard or perf board, it would be handy to call out “IC ATTINY44 pin D2″ and it give you a pin number, or vice versa.

  6. gmcurrie says:

    @Kaygebee, Jarrod something like this might be of interest:

  7. gmcurrie says:
  8. truthspew says:

    Black, Brown, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet, Gray, White

    Corresponds to:

    So for example you have a resistor with Red/Red/Brown it’s a 220 Ohm resistor. First number 2, second number 2, last number 1 for number of 0’s. Pretty simple.

  9. Kaj says:

    I’d love a PC application that could quickly ID resistors from a webcam image.
    I can do it myself, but I get a lot of bulk resistor boxes that could use sorting.

  10. WhiteCrane says:

    There is always the prop powered talking resistor calculator. Needs a better voice maybe but it’s fun anyway. Doesn’t require good sight or color recognotion for those with troubles in such areas.

  11. rue_mohr says:

    ok I hope you all know those capacitor readings are just wrong.

    • zarthcode says:

      I was just spitting out colors for the capacitor values to demo the speech. (I don’t have any caps w/bands – haven’t seen any in years) Though, I’m sure there’s a very healthy market for 47kF caps, wouldn’t you agree? ;-)

    • zarthcode says:

      I was just saying colors to demo that it can recognize capacitance. Though, I’m sure there’s a healthy market for 47kF caps :)

  12. echodelta says:

    The concept is great, but it is like labeling the keys on a piano when lerning to play. The colour should say in your head, [number]. I once set a phone keyboard up with standard numeric keys (not Bell Handicap) and painted the keys standard colours. It screwed up everybody else. It was a pleasure to use.
    Bell Handicap: people could dial faster than it could think, so they ffed up the number keys to slow you down. 1948
    Qwerty Handicap: ditto! 1875

  13. Still not colorblind-friendly :(

  14. Necromant says:

    Linux, please.

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