Cheap Voice-controlled Lighting


Voice-controlled home automation doesn’t have to be wildly expensive if you have a little bit of time and some know-how to do the job yourself. [jjshortcut] wanted to control the lighting in his room without using physical switches. On his blog, he describes how he did it without spending a ton of money.

He picked up a VRBot speech recognition module on eBay, which is an easy way to get your feet wet with voice control. The device has a bunch of built-in speaker independent commands, as well as the ability to record up to 32 custom triggers. Rather than mess with mains voltage and build his own light relays, he purchased a simple set of wireless light switches and began hacking.

He spent some time sniffing the wireless communications protocol to figure out how the lights were triggered, then he replicated that functionality using an AVR and a cheap 433 MHz module.

The system seems to work quite well despite how cheaply he was able to put it together. Stick around to see a quick video of his voice recognition system in action.


9 thoughts on “Cheap Voice-controlled Lighting

  1. What’s “cheap”? The VRbot is the older version, with EasyVR being its successor. EasyVR is right around $60US, not sure about across the pond. I wouldn’t exactly say that $100 (added $30 for RF outlets and various components) ‘cheap’. It’s DEFINITELY approachable and ‘affordable’, but not ‘cheap’.

  2. I do think it is reasonably cheap. Whatever solution you would use, it would still some form of controlling, so the radio sockets can stay.
    And what could possibly make for a cheaper recognition system than the 40 Eur module? A computer with some software? That would mean it has to run all the time which is inconvenient and costly.

    Actually, I would like to know how the module performs under real life where there might be some noise and bad speakers…

  3. Actually, If could have been even cheaper if he hacked the rf transmitter from the set instead of using a separate 433 module. I’m not sure if there are 7 available ports on the uC he used, but that would have avoided the oscilloscope buggering.

  4. How can you make the microphone portable? For example, you want to “command” anywhere in your house?

    I am PLANNING to try using wireless microphone but i dont think it will work. I would try it though. Any suggestions???

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